Letters to the Editor 7/12/2023


Last updated 7/11/2023 at 9:31am

Us vs. them

To the Editor:

I wish to thank Jim Cornelius for his reminder how the lack of trust between Russians and NATO allies in 1983 (“The most dangerous year,” The Nugget, July 5, page 2) nearly annihilated us. Those wise words extol us to contemplate King Mongkut’s puzzlement:

“Is a danger to be trusting one another

One will seldom want to do what other wishes

But unless someday somebody trust somebody

There’ll be nothing left on earth excepting fishes”

Given the certainty of uncertainty in Eastern Europe, heeding the call to trust could not be timelier. Yet can we trust an “Evil Empire” Americans have demonized since the Bolshevik Revolution? Both Americans and Russians have been carefully taught to hate and fear for more than a hundred years by our respective governments.

Until when we can see Russians as people, not Communists, we will be enslaved by our propaganda and this cycle of susception, conflict, and destruction will continue. By understanding a tad of the history and culture of the Russia people, we unwind our learned prejudices and create an opening for peace.

Appreciate the outsized contribution Russian Slavs have made to the West. When Mongol and Tartar hordes swept out of the steeps, it was those Slavs, Russian among them, who stood as the shield of Christendom. Muscovy suffered most under the reign of the Golden Horde. This created a brutality in Russian governance that persists even today. It is nearly incomprehensible to us Westerners, the lasting agony of the Great Patriotic War had on the Russian psyche. The anger of losing twenty million comrades liberating Europe while waiting for the Britain and American invasion was a root cause of the Cold War.

While living and working in Eastern Europe, I experienced the embracing love for life and giving nature so deeply embedded in Slavic cultures. From my Russian, Kirov-trained ballet teacher, Misha, to my huge Russian-Latvian bear of a friend/co-worker, Vitaly, I have known only personal warmth and acceptance — rarely found in the U.S. or Western Europe.

Next time some opinionated pundit or infotainer starts raising your blood pressure about them, stop and breathe. Ask yourself to look at the real human behind them. When we understand the reality of the oneness of humanity then peace and harmony can guide the planet.

John Lancaster


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