Any war is horrific, but a war that involves civilian casualties is many times more so. Of these civilians, children are the most vulnerable. The war in Ukraine will scar its children and change them forever. Still, I believe that it will plant in them the conviction that war brings nothing good, and there is no way to justify the harm and pain that it inflicts.
In the past, wars meant occupation, plundering of possessions, and enslavement of the captive. Today conquering another country has no benefits. What will you do once you have conquered the capital? You will have to rebuild it after having ruined it yourself.
The advancement of technology and international commerce and industry have made war irrelevant as a means of obtaining supplies and wealth. Today, war is simply redundant, and I believe that today’s children sense this very deeply through their parents and through everything that they themselves are experiencing. The blasts, the blood, and the corpses on the street, the biting cold, the fear, and the uncertainty are injuring their souls, and they will pass the scars they carry on to their children and their children’s children.
Even children who are not under an immediate threat of rockets and bombs are sensing what is happening. Humanity is a single body; when organs in that body fight against each other, the whole body suffers, and the whole body learns the lessons. Therefore, I hope the lessons that the children of the war are learning through pain will sink into the consciousness of all of humanity, and everyone, around the world, will understand and feel the futility of war.
The next generation will feel that instead of fighting, they would be better off complementing each other’s needs by trading. They will know that only through cooperation can they succeed in this world.
The insights that today’s children are gaining are priceless. My only regret is that they are gaining them through pain. I wish that we could teach them this through simple education, but life has chosen a different mode of teaching for them.
Still, if we can understand what reality is teaching us—that brute force no longer leads to victory, but rather collaboration and mutual complementation—without experiencing brute force firsthand, it will help us transition to a new state of mind where war is not part of the paradigm. It will help us, and it will help our children even more.
Children look out from a bus window after fleeing from Ukraine to Romania, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania, March 12, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne