to the people of Russia, with love

I was born in the midst of the Cold War.

In my formative years,
I was taught much….

Elementary social studies curriculum in the 1970s
taught me of communism and the Red Enemy.

In junior high, I learned of Thomas More
and Karl Marx.

Later, in high school, I first heard
of the Bolshevik Revolution.

It was taught us vs. them…
the U.S.S.R. was the great enemy.

I vividly remember watching Ronald Reagan
“Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!”
then, over two years later,
I watched from my college dorm
as the wall that separated Berlin came down.

And, I heard,
“We won !”

However, all these years later,
I know that I lost.

I lost because I was prejudiced
and didn’t even realize it.

I grew up hating Russians.

Then, twenty-five years later,
the Sochi Games…
and I realize my own attitude
and with my 10-year old,
I relearn.

She and I work through a Russia unit study,
and I see the faces of strong and loving
people who have rebuilt their lives.

I watch videos of the land of Russia
and I am amazed at the beauty
of my Creator.

I see pictures of mothers who love their children,
parents who want the best for their children,
just like me.

And, I am convicted.
It’s easy to hate what you do not know.

I don’t want to hear the political arguments
that Putin has put on these games himself.

I don’t to hear that he’s trying to impress
the world.

I don’t want to hear of Putin any more…
because I don’t care.

Quite honestly, I don’t care for the
ruler here in America either,
but that doesn’t mean I don’t love
my family, friends, and neighbors.

So, to the people of Russia,
I’m sorry.

Thank you for being strong,
for rebuilding when all was stripped away,
and for teaching me that beauty in adversity
is the truest beauty there is.

(photo from Flickrs Creative Commons)

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