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DO NOT LOOK THE OTHER WAY

     AS A CHILD, I RECALLED BEING CAUTIONED ABOUT REMEMBERING THE HOLOCAUST SO THAT IT WOULD NEVER GO UNCHECKED AND WOULD NEVER BE REPEATED.  OUR WORLD IS STILL FULL OF STRIFE AND IT REMAINS IMPORTANT TO STOP AND REFLECT BECAUSE IF WE DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO VICTIMS, WE ARE MURDERING THEM TWICE -  BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE FORGOTTEN THEM. 
 
     THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE REMINDS US AGAIN THAT HATRED LEADS TO ACTIONS AND THAT  ACTIONS LEAD TO GENOCIDE.  THIS IS WHY IT REMAINS IMPORTANT TO ATTEND TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE FACING INDESCRIBABLE ADVERSITY.  OUR TASK IS A PAINFUL ONE -  THOUGH CLEARLY, IT IS NOT AS PAINFUL TO US AS IT IS TO THOSE WHO ARE BEING PUNISHED, TORTURED, AND SACRIFICED.

     I LIVE THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY FROM UKRAINE AND RUSSIA BUT WHENEVER I TURN ON THE TELEVISION - EVEN FOR A COOKING LESSON OR STAND-UP COMEDY - I AM FLOODED WITH THE LATEST UPDATES ABOUT "THE WAR."  I CAN'T EVEN GET  WEATHER PREDICTIONS OR STAND-UP COMEDY WITHOUT FORCING MY WAY THROUGH DESTROYED HOMES AND BUILDINGS, DEAD BODIES LYING IN THE STREETS, FRIGHTENED CHILDREN, AND SHAKING PETS LOOKING FOR RESCUE.  THE SCENES ARE POWERFUL BUT WE MUST BE EDUCATED.  RECOGNIZE, HOWEVER, THAT OUR EDUCATION IS PROBLEMATIC.  IT INCREASES OUR STRESS WHILE THE GRAPHIC CONTENT HAS A STRONG IMPACT ON OUR MENTAL HEALTH.  NIGHTMARES FOLLOWING THE NEWS ARE COMMON. 
 
     I KNOW OF SOME PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO HAVE A COMPULSION TO FOLLOW THE BATTLES.  THIS CAN BE A WAY TO FACE FEARS WITHOUT ACTUALLY BEING INVOLVED IN THE DANGERS.  

     IF YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH ANXIETY OR TENSION, CURRENT BATTLE EVENTS MAY BE MORE DIFFICULT FOR YOU.  CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING TO HELP YOURSELF:  

     1. SET LIMITS ON THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU SPEND WATCHING WARTIME NEWS.

     2. KEEP INFORMED BY READING NEWS ARTICLES INSTEAD OF  WATCHING THE BLOOD THAT HAS BEEN SHED.  

     3. DONATE MONEY TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE SUPPORTING THE UKRAINIANS SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE A SENSE OF HELPING.

     4. WRITE LETTERS TO POLITICIANS AND FRIENDS WHO MAY HAVE TIES TO THE UKRAINE.

     5. ASK FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO RESPECT YOUR SENSITIVITIES.

     6. SEEK PSYCHOTHERAPY.

                                     "WAR IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LANGUAGE FAILS."
                                                                                                                                             M. Atmood

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