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Another Man's Shoes

What are you doing today? Reading this over a sandwich at work? Or perhaps at home making lunch for the children? Maybe you’re browsing through this in between Netflix programmes? Or thinking about going to the gym?

We’re so fortunate to live in a country where these are the sort of things that occupy our time. Imagine for a moment that your brilliant, beautiful country has now been subject to a violent military assault by the forces of a man increasingly unhinged. Your family has been sent away. You are not allowed to leave. You’ve been given a gun and told to do your duty.

How would you cope emotionally, mentally, physically with such news?

This is the reality for many thousands of Ukrainians today for whom nationhood, identity, and pride still mean something. They are prepared to stand up for their independence and show in the strongest possible terms that invasion and annexation is not acceptable to them.

Aren’t we lucky to live somewhere where we can fixate on such trivial matters as who ‘offended’ whom on Twitter? On ‘gender identity’? On tearing down statues and sanitising our history?

Meanwhile, in the real world, Ukrainian men take up arms to defend their way of life and their very existence. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

You can’t understand someone else until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Well, perhaps today, we could set aside some of the trivialities British people now focus on so exclusively, and instead think about what we might do to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in the face of tyranny and despotism. 6.8m Ukrainians died during WWII. What can we do to help prevent a similar death toll this time?

So if you’re still going on about birthday parties at No 10, stop. Just stop. Be thankful you live in a country where you can criticise your Prime Minister. Because if Putin gets his way in Ukraine, the freedom to criticise may soon start to become a thing of the past.

Felacia Nelson

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