Worldwide Discussion: The People Join In

The people of the Crimean Peninsula have spoken, in an election that the world must assume was largely untainted by coercion or ballot-box stuffing or other corruptions. The result was never in doubt in any event, as more than 60% of the residents of Crimea are Russian speakers and are deeply embedded in the Russian culture. That majority wants to be part of Russia. It never favored being separated from Russia in the first place.

So the people of the Crimean Peninsula have spoken, voting overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and become an independent republic, the government of which, all the voters knew, will immediately request membership in the Russian Federation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made an astonishing statement of agreement with them on Tuesday when, if an NBC News report  by Albina Kovalyova is correct, he said that Crimea was “stolen” from Russia when it was handed to Ukraine in the first place, half a century ago.

The NBC News report said that Putin, addressing a joint session of the Russian parliament, “described the 1954 allocation of Crimea to Ukraine by then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev as a mistake and said that the wishes of the local people had been ignored.”

The NBC report goes on to quote Putin as saying that Russia was going through a difficult period at that time, and that “the people of Crimea were not asked about anything. It was hard to imagine then that Russia and Ukraine would be different countries. But it happened. The U.S.S.R. collapsed.”

The result of this was that “When Crimea became part of a different state, Russia felt it was stolen,” NBC quoted Putin as saying. “A million people went to bed in one country and woke up in another,” the report said he added.

The network said that Putin told the Russian parliament that Russia thought Ukraine would be a friendly neighbor, but that the situation “developed differently.”

On Tuesday Putin apparently went even further, describing Kiev, which is the capital of Ukraine, as “the mother of all Russian cities,” again according to yet another report from NBC News.

President Putin says he would think that Americans would understand and support the vote for independence by the people of Crimea, just as Americans support the whole idea of freedom of choice and independence, having declared its own independence from England many years ago.

Mr. Putin also said that he hoped that Germany and the rest of Europe would understand the desire of Russia to embrace Crimea again as a part of the Russian Federation, just as East and West Germany joined together once again a few years ago to form one nation — a move that, Putin said, Russia supported. He did not point out that this was even though Russia then “lost” East Germany as a satellite region under Russian control.

These words, reportedly from Putin as quoted by NBC News, are being placed here in order to put the entire Crimea/Ukraine situation in a new and larger context, allowing, perhaps, for a deeper understanding of why Russia is taking the position it is now taking regarding Crimea and Ukraine.

This does not make the Russian position “right” (nor does it make it “wrong”) — it simply makes it, perhaps, more understandable to people in the West.

All of which brings us to a remarkable idea placed in the Comments Section beneath the last headline story on this webpage, which also focused on the situation in Crimea, and invited readers to offer their suggestions on how to deal with the apparent impasse between Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., and Europe.

A reader named Cate Grieves wrote…

“If I was the President of the world, I would get all the Presidents together. They then sit around a large ROUND table. They would then have to stick a large white piece of paper to the front of their clothes. On this piece of paper would be their name — in LARGE black ink in capital letters. Then each person hands the person on their left, their name badge. They then put it on.

“Then, each person has to believe they are the person whose name they have. They then explain to the group, to the best of their ability, why they believe they are right. They are only allowed to speak for the name they have on.

“After they have all spoken, they move the names along again, one more person to the left.When they have all had a turn at each name badge, they can then discuss an outcome. The other rules for this event are: that no-one is allowed to interupt or criticise what anyone has said. They are all allowed to speak for as long as they want. They do not get to speak with their own name badge.”

Now there’s a fascinating idea. It would be an exercise in wearing the other shoe, and it could offer a remarkable format for creating a solution to more than a few problems around the world. (And in people’s homes!)

It would probably never happen, because “role playing” would probably be considered too “New Agey” or too much like a “psychological game” for world leaders (or couples in a marriage, for that matter) to actually engage in it. But it is an idea that could change the world.

In any event, now having heard more from Vladimir Putin on this whole subject, your own additional comments and observations are invited below. What does our contemporary spirituality invite us to say and do about all of this?

Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
Click here to acknowledge and remove this note:
  • I remember seeing that quote & was impressed by the idea. I get the idea being a bit too New Agey for people, yet let’s not sell this idea short, or any idea that has merit because it sounds too spiritual.

    I believe in the nearer future people will embrace spirituality more & soften rigid religious dogma as part of the elevating of consciousness around the world.

    I was thinking yesterday that small & simple profound shifts could bring in the new world with little effort & drama. Like a less dogmatic rigidity & more openness. Less harsh judgmental condemnatory energy in place of softening attitudes. Experimenting to test things out etc. Less drama in place of peace, harmony, creativity, experimentation & embracing good drama instead. More compassion on our faults, more compassion on the environment.

    Thus smaller changes lead to BIG shifts with less drama, conflict, struggle simply by loosening dogmatic attitudes at least a bit & enlarging compassion & softer less condemnatory attitudes.

  • Debra O’Bryant Haworth

    I believe it’s time to explore the idea of borderless countries. I believe that it’s time to think globally and not singularly. This is a situation where we go to war again or advance our mindset to a new future.

  • Marta

    I hope that one day we will live in the world without boundaries. Those have changed for so many times over the past centuries. I hope that people will more identify themselves with their true nature (soul) than with the specific place of birth or ideology. History have shown that these divisions simply doesn’t work for the good of us all and cause a lot of pain that deepens those divisions even further. And I also hope that one day the communities will be led by the people to whom development and prosperity of the societies on the global level will be more valuable than the personal ambitions, geopolitical and economical games.

  • Robert John Lury

    As long as humans slaughter land and sea animals unnecessarily life will force us into similar conditions, the consciousness in animals is exactly the same as in you NB

  • Cate Grieves

    My solution is one that most people will automatically dismiss as too spiritual or use various other reasoning but on another level it is speaking the truth and the truth is heard by the heart. This is a simple solution to a complicated problem. But really all problems are the same in the end.

  • Cate Grieves

    And Marko is right. Small shifts in perception will change the way we see the world. We need not worry about the Ukraine situation. We just need to see the person in front of us and help him. That is all.

  • Erin

    “New Agey”…funny adjective, yes? Kinda makes me think ‘hippie’, with tones of ‘revolutionary’.
    I imagine that a round world was once a new agey theory, Christianities were new agey concepts, as is the computer-era full of new agey stuff.
    I imagine that the first human to stand & walk erect was first seen as a show of dominant behavior toward it’s kind, & beaten back down to fours by their peers…until more stood to See the finer view & experience the functionality in the move.

    Each changed the courses of ‘Norm’ in human life-sight, and these are but a few examples. Sooo, although not all agreed with such new theories, thoughts, or ways…some quite adamant & aggressive in their point-pushing…The world changed, We changed…from New to Now.

    Mediators often use similar tactics as Cate’s idea in counseling…The ‘game’ works very well toward Understanding. And is it not understanding that brings opportunity to be wiser of our choices in dealing with oldness & newness?

    Hmmm…Can enough people See their Selfs at that round table? Can many truly find Understanding in such a group’s agenda/purpose? Can a majority imagine what a World Leader’s vision of Good Life IS? Do enough have the management experience to even begin such imaginings?

    Personally, I find the inglorious genius of Our ‘World Leaders’ no less than Amazing. The ability to hold such position & talent so as to be among a like-minded cooperative that can easily manipulate an entire ‘intelligent’ specie’s evolving process…The capability to use an entire orb as a Universal Management Science Lab…What an Absolutely fabulous experience this must be!!! To be an Ultimate Observer, an Ultimate Journalist/Historian, an Ultimate Explorer/Pioneer…An Ultimate Knower/Mover. Never a dull moment, for sure!!! God-thinking at It’s finest, No???

    mpo…The trivialities & issues We create & live thru become even more trite in Seeing through eyes such as these. War & arguing become senseless, giving becomes important, wall-crumbling becomes evident, harms become healed…Life “softens” in Understanding. Woo-Hoo, Cate! May we all try walking with World Leader feet! 😀

  • Awareness

    The spiritual invitation is not to identify with Nations and ethnicities as who we really are. The spiritual invitation is to identify with SPIRIT, CONSCIOUSNESS, GOD as Who We Really Are.

    “It is with the greatest of honor that we leave you with three little reminders. Treat each other with the greatest respect FOR YOU ARE LOOKING IN THE EYES OF GOD. Nurture one another every chance you get and re-member that it is a game and play well together.” – THE GROUP (GREAT SPIRIT!) channelled by Steve Rother 🙂

    “This Awareness suggests that entities begin to look deeply into the eyes of one another–beyond the faces, beyond the clothing, beyond the shape of eyes and colors of skins, beyond the language barriers, beyond beliefs and attitudes–but that they look deeply into the eyes of one another to communicate with the soul, with the God which resides behind each mask. This Awareness indicates that every human face is every other human face, and all entities are one within the body of this Awareness.

    This Awareness asks that you love one another and all will be well.” by Cosmic Awareness (GREAT SPIRIT! GREAT AWARENESS!) 🙂

    Bless ALL 🙂

  • Sander Viergevert

    What I do, is that the highest good for the other? Love asks this question. If you have only a little doubt if what you are doing is the highest good for the other, examine your ideas before acting.

    Secondly, we are One. We are cosmologically, psycologically and socially one with each other. What you cause another to expierence, you will expierence for yourself. Love is all.

    Sanctions do not help. Connecting and working together as One united power is power. Oneness is power. Separation is no power. (for instance you will destroy yourself in the end).

    Small groups inspiring bigger groups, and bigger groups will inspire the even bigger groups. Till a new conscious will evolve in the souls of all people, just through the collective conscious energy running through the air only..