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The Cost of Learning

Good evening,

I'm from Ukraine.

From my hometown of Nikopol. The 23rd day of the war has passed.

Finally, ultimately, I managed to reach out to you!

I’m watching us grow, mature; I’m watching our morale get bolstered and us grow stronger spiritually.

Everyone makes their little yet important contribution.

Someone becomes aware of their right to choose.

Someone is finally learning to feel their boundaries (personal).

Someone learns to SEE instead of watch and HEAR instead of listen.

Someone finds their strength—and by the way, it’s not just in your hands, it’s in your heart as well.

Someone has finally established their values, and someone has realized their purpose—now, with certainty.

Someone is learning to be honest; but, first of all, we all are learning the true ways of humanity.

This is how we all make our contributions to victory.

Every day, many times a day, I observe this growth in my surroundings—and my personality as well.

It hurts a lot that growing up like that costs us so much, but how can you help it?

And this, too, is our great spiritual work: learning to remain on our feet when we want all but collapse in pain and grief, or worse yet, simply to die. Opposing all that, we learn to stand strong.

To stand strong means to be tough and resilient. Sometimes, it is confused with indifference, callousness, but it’s something else entirely. It’s the strength to refuse to surrender, even when it hurts a lot, even when survival seems impossible. To stand despite everything, to have the inspiration and fervour to blaze a trail.

Oh, yes, we learn to be merciful!

We learn to live with anger and resentment, not allowing ourselves to drown in it.

We learn to agree with and accept what we cannot change.

For what can be changed, we learn to change it—with our hands, our hearts, our actions, our thoughts.

We learn to draw the line at what cannot be.

We’ve yet to stop learning!

And so I want to mark up all our victories and achievements—but there are so many of them and so little time that I won’t recount everything, not in this text, anyway.

Right now, I've got a lot of work. And in the future, I know, there will be even more.

Because everyone needs psychological support and guidance.

I find my real work more useful now. That’s why, despite wanting to tell you so much, I choose to be busy with it rather than write pretty words. Even though I love doing both.

TO THOSE IN NEED OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT. I’m here, I can provide it. Free of charge. It's been 23 days. And I won’t stop. Not to the last droplet of stamina.

P.S. Whoever wants to find seeds of conflict in my words, to accuse me of saying or doing something wrong—well, up yours! I won’t pick arguments with you—you’re just gonna be banned.

I have something real to spend my energy on.

Love and hugs to you all, my people.

We will stand strong, we will survive! One day, this horror will end.

Ukrainian Text by Iryna Shtanko. Translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team – Mar 24, 2022

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