I’ve recently been called by reporters from both the Hollywood Reporter and Variety asking me my opinion on how the Ukrainian situation is affecting the business of movie-making in Bulgaria.
I’ve been reluctant to respond because I just don’t know what the right thing to say is. I’m by no means a political analyst and in no way qualified to explain what our leaders are doing globally.
I do know a couple of things based on my recent experience watching the news cycle for the last 30 odd years and I want to share a couple of thoughts here. These are based on my readings as a young man and my reflections of the world we live in based on how I moved through it.
The first thing is we all see the world from our perspective. We are made of nature and nurture and our capacity to make choices allow us to move through ranges of emotions that encompass empathy, sympathy, pity, anger, and hatred.
The second thing is our leaders are the decision-makers and we vote with our voices and our money so if we don’t like what we have we can actively make a change. This change has to be done collectively and motivated by truth, kindness, and mutual respect for the myriad ways we see the world.
The third thing is we are living in an incredibly divisive time. Blame propaganda, blame covid, blame whatever/whoever you want but rest assured that for every one finger you point outwards three are pointing back at you. If you don’t believe me try it out yourself. As the great yogi Michael Jackson once said “if you want to make the world a better place take a look at the mirror and make the change. Now I know some of you are already triggered because I mentioned Michael Jasckson but lets just take the words and not our opinion of the man behind them and leave it as is.
I just read a transcript from Kiril Petkov who said “these refugees are not terrorists, they are kind intelligent people in need of help.” I also saw the outrage that came of it – who are the other kind – what is he saying about them???!!! how dare he!!! Syrians are not terrorists!!!! – Truth is Kiril did not mention Syrians, Kurds, Fundamentalists, Lone Wolves, or any other group that we have decided were worthy or unworthy.
He was just mentioning that these particular groups of people are in need of our help.
Trump called Putin a genius. It sparked outrage – and yes we all know where he leans and why he does so, but again let’s lose the man behind the words and look at what he said. I’m going to ask you – if someone manages to rise up to that level and take that position, surely he has something much more than your average person has between their ears. You might say sociopathy, you might say machiavellian acumen, and you might say political genius.
Ultimately Putin is representing a large proportion of the people who put him there and he is serving what he believes is his own best interests and his country’s.
These days we are far more connected than divided. Ideas and opinions move across the globe at lightning speed and everybody has a voice. In any utopian view of the world one would think that this is a good thing but what’s happening today in Ukraine is rooted in a lark of wanting to acknowledge another’s opinion. Ultimately its a matter of opinion that is driving this conflict. This belongs to me not you, your ideology is wrong and mine is right etc etc etc..
So how can we look at this through the lens of economics? This is a humanitarian crisis in the making and we are asking ourselves how it affects business. F*ck business – its human lives we are looking at. How many pieces of paper they have in their pockets or how many numbers are shown on a screen means nothing when the rockets red glare have bombs bursting in air.
Let’s open up our hearts and arms to all of those in need and learn to listen to them. Be they Russian or Ukrainian they are our human family and we need more compassion in our lives than hatred. And to those that are in the business…if you need a job or a place to stay and make it to our borders, please reach out.