I thought I knew what democracy was. Something to live, aspire toward, tweak and teach through actions. Like standing up and voicing my opinions, organizing people to do the same, supporting efforts to bring about ideas of “equality”, “justice”, “freedom.” And then the world was blindsided by Vladimir Putin, who strikes fear in the hearts of, it would seem, just about everyone. We are afraid of bullies, we are afraid of making the wrong decisions, we are afraid of dying. But today I heard someone in Kyiv say on the radio, that we need to fight for freedom, not take it for granted. Does a crocus fight for sunlight? Rally against the cold, and push back when my cat steps on it? A direct hit… I don’t take freedom for granted but fighting for freedom is… unfamiliar. Not something I thought I would wake up to. My Ukrainian born friend did not sleep at all last night. Worried about her family and friends’ safety, scattered across Ukraine and Russia. Is democracy safety? The luxury of debate instead of violence? What is the other side of democracy? Totalitarianism… no freedom of choice whatsoever. I wonder what percentage of freedom convoy participants in Canada are originally from Eastern European countries? Possibly aware of this impending next step – an exercise in freedom taking; democracy denying. Is there time to wonder? Or do I need to just armour up my heart…Look through the walls I am building up from the inside and imagine what my fight will look like when freedom is at stake.
February 25th, 2022