The gas inflation; A small price for war

I believe I speak for all “broke college students” when I say my heart swells every time my gas light flickers on. I can recall just yesterday hastily pulling into Raceway and sighing at the risen prices. I have done my fair share of grumbling about the consistently high prices, but I recently had my head snapped back straight when my mother commented on my crankiness.  

“I’m just grateful it is not my children being found in the shambles of our home,” she said.  

Unless you have the news on continuously, it’s easy to forget what is currently happening in Ukraine. Truthfully, I hear more about how much it was to fill someone’s car than the horrors innocent people are enduring in the very same moment. I say this not from a place of judgment; however, I am surprised with how easily devastation can be ignored by many when it does not directly impact them. This isn’t just soldiers dying in combat; this is innocent people being slaughtered in masses.  

On March 9, the bombing of a Mariupol children’s hospital was one of several attacks within 24 hours. Currently, mainstream news sources such as CNN and Fox are reporting civilian casualties of over 1,000, but, as the southern region of Ukraine lies in rubble, some fear the true numbers are significantly higher. It’s difficult to receive constant reports on the situation, but the photos circulating of families clutching to a lifeless body or a pregnant woman being carried from the dust of what was once a hospital hauntingly paints the story we need to know.   

 Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “Okay, what does that have to do with the United States?” While I understand how easy it is to hyper-focus on matters that only directly affect your life as well as those close to you, I also think it’s important to humble ourselves to a certain degree of humanity. I have witnessed many chalk things up to the idea of mere “casualties of war;” however, the Geneva Convention specifically prohibits targeting civilians and medical workers. I feel it should be as simple as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and realizing, with the impending threat of another world war, this could easily be turned into your reality as well.   

 If human life isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of the ongoing invasion against Ukraine, it is worth noting they are one of the top suppliers of crucial natural resources in the world. According to the World Nuclear Association, Ukraine contains the largest reserves of uranium in all of Europe as well as the world’s largest natural gas pipeline. Russia seizing any of this will do far more damage than just high gas prices.   

 This sudden inflation of gas prices is not an easy thing for most. With the United States average minimum wage still staggering at a scanty $7.20, it’s not rocket science to understand why people are frustrated. However, before we let that outrage consume us, I think it is important to broaden our view and realize our conditions are still decent. Times are genuinely terrifying right now, and if we fixate on a small detail like gas prices, we will miss the larger picture of what is really in bloom. So, for today, be grateful, hug a loved one and recognize what so many have already taken for granted–our safety.