The power to make the world a better place #MH17

I failed to write a Thankful Thursday post two weeks in a row.

Two weeks ago I got busy on Thursday, but I intended to post on Friday. On Friday I woke up to the news that a  Malaysian Airlines plane got shot down. I’ve been suffering from writer’s block since then. What do I have to say that’s important enough compared to the tragedy that unfolded in Ukrainian skies?

My heart went out to the families of the passengers on MH17. I didn’t know any of them, but the missile hit close to home for me anyway, for another reason. My kids and I went to Ukraine last October to visit friends. It was a bit colder than what we were used to, but it was still a beautiful, peaceful country with friendly people.

KievA few short months later it started transforming into a war zone. The MH17 passengers are not the only innocent victims of this war. Over 1,100 people have died already, many of them children. Following the crash of MH17, I’ve been reading Ukrainian, Russian and European news trying to get the full picture. I was tempted to share some of the stories of war and destruction that I came across just so that I can get that heavy weight off my chest, but I decided against it. You’d lose some sleep and it wouldn’t serve any good purpose.

Mikhailovsky Sobor KievIt’s very easy to forget that there is hunger, war and destruction somewhere out there, when it’s not in your own backyard. The latest events in Ukraine showed that we lived in a small world where everything is connected. We’re all in the same boat, even if the hole may not be at our end.

Autumn in Kiev

Here’s the good news. it works the other way around, too. If we do something to change a little corner of the world in a good way, the boat starts to straighten up.

Sometimes we forget just how much power we really have to change the world.

We can sponsor a child, so that he or she has a choice to be a doctor, a scientist or a dancer. That child will send his or her children to school, not to work.

We can plant a tree and years from now it will give shade and shelter.

We can teach our children compassion by showing them compassion.

A church in a Ukranian village

Let MH17 serve as a reminder to take care how we use our power. Today I’m thankful for my power to make the world a better place.