Kaupo Meiel: No time for spring lethargy this year
Spring is cold this year, both literally and figuratively speaking, while fresh herring straight from a boat and wild garlic pesto are still mandatory components therein – signs that the normal world has not completely disappeared yet, Kaupo Meiel finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.
I caught Kristjan Pihl and Ove Musting's quality TV documentary "Tagalas" earlier in the week and got a much better idea of what the volunteers of NGO Slava Ukraini, led by European of the Year Johanna-Maria Lehtme, are doing.
While the film was full of emotion, because people are people, what I took away was how fiercely and tirelessly our fellow Estonians are working to help Ukraine. You look on and feel jealous, that you would like to maintain the same zeal and stamina, while it is becoming more difficult with every day the war drags on.
Jaanika Merilo, adviser to the deputy prime minister of Ukraine, told Eesti Päevaleht in an interview that, "people get tired and it is only natural. What matters is that influential countries and organizations don't. Those supplying Ukraine with weapons must not tire as it would cost human lives."
Creeping war and news weariness were noticed by PR specialist Põim Kama two months ago when she wrote in an opinion piece: "Several people have admitted, hesitant and a little ashamed, that they have stopped following news of the war. Because it is just too horrible and depressing. There is nothing you can do except look on in real time as people are being killed and things blown up in your friend's back yard.
Therefore, this fatigue is keenly human. I got selective about war news and comments I keep up with some time ago to avoid being swallowed whole by the sense of depression. Even concerts to support Ukraine have become too much to tune in to or charity fairs or auctions to attend.
The fear of more sad news was brought home to me the other day when I was reading Tweets about Patron who is quite justifiably considered to be the best dog in the world. The small but valiant and officially decorated Ukrainian bomb dog is a character who always sparks joy before one remembers that he is a war hero and war is full of death. What would I feel were I forced to read the tragic news of Patron's death and would I be able to handle it?
These are all manifestations of fatigue, and I do not believe we should be ashamed of these feelings, while we can just as confidently say that spring lethargy has not happened this year. The Slava Ukraini volunteers set the example that while no one is safe from however depressing or exhausting emotions, physical and mental fatigue must not be allowed to prevail.
Spring is cold this year, both literally and figuratively speaking, while fresh herring straight from a boat and wild garlic pesto are still mandatory components therein – signs that the normal world has not completely disappeared yet.
Perhaps we could even see this week's signs of a government crisis in a positive light: politicians playing politics as they should. Muses and politicians keeping up appearances to the backdrop of artillery fire in a weird way sets an example of how to tirelessly go about one's business.
Spring exhaustion peppered with war news is also made more tolerable if we can notice bigger and smaller victories. Estonia making it to Eurovision finals with "Hope" by Stefan is a victory of sorts. Spring is also about to emerge victorious and drupaceous trees will soon be blossoming even in Pärnu. Common sense will prevail on the political arena – I'm sure of it.
The existence of Slava Ukraini and many other volunteers constitutes a major win for Estonia and the world. Taking pride in and emulating them can at the very least help us to postpone spring lethargy.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski