Wars are lessons we repeat until we learn that everyone loses in them

I never believed in coincidence. Everything I experienced and what I can say I survived happened exactly as it should have, no matter how hopeless, dark and insurmountable it seemed at the time.

I loved some people and it was hard for me to say goodbye to them, but I survived.

I have had illnesses, accidents, setbacks, and disappointments, but I have survived them.

Some lessons were painful, but I see them now as what they really were – a necessity.

It took me to experience them, to live them and survive to become the woman I am now. And it took me some accumulated years to see it all just as lessons, not as something that sabotaged me. Or as people like to say, “it happened.”

It didn’t happen to me, I experienced it because I wanted to become the person I am. I wouldn’t have become that if I had honey and milk in everything.

I’ve learned to look at farewells only as experiences, I’ve learned to look at people as random companions on some part of our life paths, and I’ve learned that nothing is as dramatic as it first seems. If we talk about common life circumstances. But war is not such a circumstance.

People who look at war in a straight line

Sometimes I am justifiably amazed at how straightforwardly, without depth and breadth people see the world, phenomena, and other people, how easily they judge while they think they are right in their judgments and how they trivialize other people’s experiences and pain on the one hand and defend human stupidity and lack empathy on the other hand.

You have to experience a loss to understand it. You have to fail to be able to say that this is not the end of the world and that even better things can grow out of the ashes, you have to be out of work to understand money-lessness and you have to build a job, a name and a life for yourself to understand what it really means to create something.

When you go through that, when you build a job, a family, a life out of collapse and poverty, but primarily yourself, despite the circumstances that plague you, then you know that loss becomes an opportunity to start with something better. But it is a worldview, either you adopt it or life slaps you again until it builds you up or breaks you.

Life after a lost life

Refugees from Ukraine now have no choice but to build their lives from scratch, in a world that has embraced them but is still foreign. And if they are among the “lucky ones” who managed to get a living head.

They, like the Phoenix, have emerged from the scorching heat of their own lives and can do absolutely nothing again. Is it easy for them? Of course not, but listening to their words, watching them, I see the determination that people who live free, with a roof over their heads and their children safe between the walls of those same homes do not have. They are now only talking about price increases and lack of money. Ironically, isn’t it?

Many will say that I am arrogant in my attitudes, but is it arrogance or is it a reality? I am not trivializing our situation, I am not trivializing the chaos in which we all find ourselves and we all feel it, but I am trying to conjure up that there are many more difficult and much worse problems than ours. And they are persistently trivialized because this “war is just another war” and it is persistent to people “somewhere else”. But it’s not, it’s there. We will all feel the consequences. But we will still find it easier because we have our homes and we have our families and we still have our lives, whatever they may be. Do you understand?

They do not have. No more.

These poor people are just on a challenging path. They have nothing, and they need and want to build themselves a new, happier, and better life, under a sky where planes are not circling.

And that path to self-realization is a winding, muddy, thorny, stone and hornbeam-filled road on which you actually have only yourself and the strength of will to grow stronger and more persistent, unquestionably better from each of these obstacles. The path to self-realization is our ultimate lesson. If we master it, we apply what we have learned in all spheres of life. And then from the outside, everything seems easy… to some other people.

Trivializing other people’s pain and superficiality

Rumors are already circulating that people fleeing war-torn Ukraine will now “get along better” and “pick up the cream.” I don’t know what kind of cream is being picked by anyone who has just lost their home, life, memories, dreams, and barely made it out alive?

People are full of assumptions because they look at everything without depth, without breadth, and many without a grain of empathy. As if they are deprived of all humanity. Everything is a simple calculation for them.

And my life looks beautiful from the outside. It looks like a beautiful, pink fairy tale in which I am a princess on the throne of a successful life.

When they look at me, people see a young, accomplished woman. They see my books and columns, they see the end result. They don’t see me. Because I am not their person, I am their idea. An idea, an assumption. Sometimes a show. Someone whose images they sigh over and whose texts they question, but that’s all, they don’t perceive me as a person of flesh and blood, tears, pain, laughter, skin, and bones.

They don’t see sleepless nights, they don’t see wrong moves and lessons that cost me money and nerves. Everything looks “pink” if you don’t have enough loops to scratch under the surface. And that is just one, banal example.

Most people live that way, on the surface.


Therefore, many have been looking at this war, which we have been buzzing about for days because it doesn’t touch them, because “it happens to some other people there.” Well, then they write to me that it is a war of globalists as if that fact diminishes the victims on both sides. As if the war here in the Balkans was also not a war of globalists and war profiteers. As if war is anywhere more than the death of some and the profits of others? But that does not diminish the fact that it is the 21st century and that we must know differently!

So they then compare the loss of a child to deleting a selfie-and shutting down the Instagram profiles of Russian influencers, as if the two could ever be the same and cause the same pain. And as if that drama and persistent crying over deleted profiles, no matter how hard it was for them and no matter how unquestionably I understand and sympathize with the loss of work and grief over lost work and effort, can ever be more painful and difficult than losing a person, life, child…

But people trivialize death and glorify completely wrong things. And they are still moralizing. Because they live on the surface. And they try to “stay on the sidelines”, as they hopefully write tracts in the comments and spill bile, but from the comfort of their armchairs and their warm homes, over which planes with bombs do not fly.

It’s easy to be “non-aligned.”

But that’s not it, it’s just closing your eyes and pushing under the rug and helping those same globalists who are so zealously called out, to continue to pursue the policy they pursue.

You’re not on the sidelines if you’re standing on the sidelines, you’re in the spotlight actually because your restraint affects the world we live in. A world in which millions of individuals say that they are too small and unimportant to change something, not realizing that the mass consists of individuals and that the world is not changed by “some other people”, but we all change and shape it with our opinions and with our wise ”Standing aside”.

Politics is a whore, it always makes someone die

Some naive youth will tell me again that I don’t understand politics, that I have no idea who the aggressor really is and where, and I will sigh.

Youth does not know that we are all victims of that war, even now. That after the Corona crisis, comes a new one, a war, that we will lack food and resources, that prices will go sky high and that there are no sides, that we are all just people, regardless of who is what nationality. And that we are on the same side. At least we should be.

Youth does not know that war means death on both sides. That means thousands of crying mothers, who will never hug their child again.

Youth doesn’t know and does not understand. But easy for youth, they will learn… someday. Older and “wiser” turn out to be naive pawns in a game in which we are all losers, we only experience our losses differently, only some losses hurt less. Some survive, so they become lessons. Those who build and shape us and learn something.

And some are permanent. As we have been witnessing here for 30 years about wounds that have not yet healed, about two sides that still do not understand each other after 3 decades, but somehow seemingly coexist with each other because they have to. With flashes of youth falling in love and building another world. But with the burden of the past on its back, which continues to spin the directions of our Balkan culture.

And that’s what’s to cry about. And we learned nothing from all that.

We still do not understand equally. We are still looking for and counting the differences. Still, just one spark would be enough to get on top of each other.

And that’s not what globalists do. That’s how we breathe, little “non-aligned”, ordinary people.

Unlearned lessons

But we will survive, maybe learn something, maybe even get better. But some won’t. That’s the thing.

And no, that’s not why I’m a Russophile as a colleague of mine pointed out a few days ago. I just have friends on both sides of the war, good friends who have nothing to do with this war, but both are paying the price of it and also, I am just a person scratching beneath the surface, and there in the depths, there is truth. There is a lot of blood in it. And young men are lying next to each other. I don’t know what their nationalities are, but they are both gone. They are surrounded by ruined buildings, lost lives, the echo of some ancient laughter, some evicted children who become adults in a foreign world, and in their core and bones carry images of destroyed homes and tainted memories.

They don’t care who’s to blame. They just lived through it and survived. As we have lived and survived, we still have Vukovar and Srebrenica and a million problems, sorrows, and misery, even though 30 years have passed since the war.

Survivors, survivors wrote hundreds of books about it, made hundreds of films, and learned nothing. Neither we nor the world.

And so we repeat the lesson. And I wonder, how long are we going?

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