Hi! My name is Artemy and I am a WordPress developer from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
Probably, you already know that my country is fighting invaders from russia now. On 24 February 2022, the life of every Ukrainian has changed forever. No part of life feels the same anymore.
Obviously, when the city you live in regularly is regularly attacked by rockets and bombs, it changes your way of life and habits. However, life goes on, and Ukrainians, everyone in their place and field, continue to do their job.
The first days of the full-scale war with russia felt like something unreal. People all around Ukraine felt the impact of russian missiles. Every sound of a siren made you think that a missile would hit your house or the houses of your loved ones.
Things we used to think were just a relic of the past became a new reality. On the ruins of the former, peaceful life, everyone began to try to build a new way of life.
Is it possible to communicate with colleagues when missiles fly over your house? Is it possible to continue doing your job after an explosion was heard outside? Is it possible to continue doing business when the modern barbarians are trying to destroy your country?
I’ve been lucky to have very understanding and responsive colleagues and partners. From the first days until now, they have worried about me and have been always sympathetic to me when I had to postpone deadlines or take breaks. I am very grateful for this.
The autumn and winter of 2022 were especially difficult. For several months, russia purposefully tried to destroy the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine. Entire cities were plunged into darkness that could last for days or even weeks. Terrorists from russia tried to destroy us by depriving us of the basic necessities of life.
Sometimes we could spend several days without electricity, water, heat, mobile, and Internet connection. Obviously, it doesn’t sound like the best circumstances for productive work.
When the situation stabilized a bit, we began to live with power outage schedules. We had electricity almost every day for 6-8 hours with periodic outages. As long as you had electricity and water, you had to take a shower, wash the dishes, cook something, run the laundry, make a cup of coffee (I can’t live without coffee), and work.
Restrictions force you to forget about unimportant things and focus on the essentials. I have heard this idea before, but only recently have I fully understood it.
We have adapted to this life. Businesses bought power generators, people bought power stations. Ukrainian resilience turned out to be stronger than russian barbarism.
Under these circumstances, I only became more convinced of the power of the philosophy of Stoicism.
Stoicism teaches us how to courageously endure the trials of life
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and one of the most famous stoicists, once wrote:
Every event happens in such a way that your nature can either support it or cannot. If then it happens so that your nature can support it, do not complain but support it as it is your nature to do; but if so that your nature cannot support it, do not complain, for it will destroy you quickly. Remember, however, that your nature can support everything which it is in the power of your own judgement to make tolerable and endurable by representing to yourself that to do this is to your advantage or is your duty.
Some people believe that Stoicism is about passive humility over what is happening around them.
I think that this is a misbelief. The classics of Stoicism were active citizens and tried to make the state and the world around them better.
Stoicism is based on the idea of separating what we can influence and what is beyond our control. This concept was succinctly described by Reinhold Niebuhr in his Serenity Prayer:
Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.
I cannot force russian missiles to fly back with the power of thought. I cannot force putin and his barbarians to return to their stables and barns with my desire alone. I cannot control whether I will have electricity and water tomorrow.
But I can adapt. I can do my job. I can make my tiny, but contribution to the common cause. To the victory.
Problems and crises come into our lives regularly, it is inevitable. An ordinary person is unable to change this. But we are able to do our part, help others, evolve, and try to make the world around us a better place.
I don’t know what the future will be like. But as long as I do what I have to do and what I think is right, I am not afraid of it.
If you want to help Ukraine in our fight for our freedom and existence, you can see the available options here: