A reflection on world events

By: Evan Shaub – Senior, Communication

We’re all lucky. It’s important to remember that.

If you’re a faculty member or Dayton student, like me, you spend everyday surrounded by great people on UD’s manicured campus, learning about ways to better yourself and others around you.

It’s hard to ask for more. Regardless of your political views, the fact that we have this opportunity everyday makes us some of the most fortunate people in the world.

Take a look at the other side of the globe. Recent pictures emerging from Kiev, Ukraine tell a dreary tale of instability and bloodshed that doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. They are fighting for ideas that we perceive as fundamental rights in America.

People are losing their lives over things we take for granted everyday and many don’t appreciate that enough.

Even though a peace treaty was proposed and signed by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last Friday, people are still rioting in the streets and many are calling for a split of the country – one side pro-European Union, the other pro-Russia.

Yanukovych has since fled Kiev for eastern Ukraine, where the majority of residents still want healthy ties with Russia, according to the New York Times. Ukraine isn’t the only place experiencing unrest.

In Venezuela people are taking to the streets and protesting their government. In both Venezuela and Ukraine, protests started out peacefully, but bloodshed quickly ensued.

Both countries claim to operate as democracies, but a deeper look into the story proves that notion wrong. Venezuela’s leadership has been pursuing a socialist approach to its government in recent years and many citizens are simply fed up.

They feel as if some of their fundamental rights as human beings have been taken away and they want them restored. In Ukraine, the country is divided between those who support president Yanukovych and those who don’t for a number of reasons.

The entire western part of the country is vehemently in opposition to Yanukovych, and many believe that divide started two months ago when he rejected a deal that would have made the country closer to a trade bloc agreement with the European Union, which undermines Russia’s attempt at keeping Ukraine under Putin’s watchful eye.

Another gripe that people have with President Yanukovych involves recent sanctions he passed limiting freedom of speech and assembly that led to blood being spilt the last week, according to the Washington Post.

Because Dayton is a Catholic university that stresses the values of philanthropy and loving your neighbor as yourself, I think all of us here should take a quick second out of our days to truly be appreciative of what we have.

We get to wake up every day in a country where we can say practically anything we desire and do almost anything we want, a country where sheer determination can make a poor man into one swimming in a pool of wealth and material goods.
It’s been said that the essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

For citizens of the United States, these are three ideals that will always remain true, but they should apply to all countries of the world.