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The real meaning of being equidistant from a war

Stories and News No. 1267

Although so far I have spent most of my life among words, it should not surprise me that it is precisely the latter that remind me that paradoxically I got a university degree full of numbers and logic.
Therefore, when I read something that in the past I have studied and used several times to pass exams that have nothing to do with writing stories or theatre acting, I find myself once again split between reason and imagination.
For example, consider a word that has suddenly become trendy due to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia: equidistance.
The reason together with a common dictionary suggest its main meaning: the property or condition of being equidistant - or equally distant - of two or more dots from another common one. The most cited example is that of the dots of a circumference from the one in the center.
Nonetheless, the so-called figurative meaning - therefore suitable for the aforementioned imagination - instead offers this interpretation: an impartial position, which does not demonstrate propensity, preference, partiality. A very fitting example is declaring yourself identically distant between two forces in conflict.
Now, it is precisely the latter that has often been brought up in recent weeks by various exponents of culture and politics, accusing those who don’t take a clear stand in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Well, I confessed at the very beginning, I am the victim of a true split. For this reason when I read the infamous word I am inclined to interpret it in the first way, the  “real” one. Applying it to the current crisis in Eastern Europe, and then breaking down all geographical and temporal limits of convenience, I cannot help but feel equidistant. Exactly like a dot on the circumference, yes, where we should all meet among those who declare to be lovers and supporters of peace, respecting human rights and dignity and opposed to any kind of abuse against individuals, peoples and states. Equally distant from the center, that is another dot that is becoming more cruel and violent every day, also due to our human obsession with the figurative meanings of the words that matter, such as war and peace.
On the circumference you are equidistant from that cursed one in the middle. Because you are equally far from any dirty war. You know what? They all are, but some clean them up, dress them fine and do a strong make up in the dressing rooms, because we know that if the sun kisses the beautiful ones, the studio lights only reward those who make themselves beautiful.
On that line that uniformly and above all coherently surrounds the shit in the center, it is like being in balance on a rope suspended on an excessively deep overhang, dug over time by centuries of self-righteous, made artfully lies.
But you resist, you try, you have to do it, otherwise nobody will. Because apparently it is really difficult today even to say, let alone understand, that if you are identically distant from war, you are from all of them, and at the same time you are just as close to those who flee from them. Regardless of how far from you the origins or features of the survivors are.
Otherwise, well, your solidarity is only figurative and the poor ones will soon find out at their expense.
It seems complicated because this is how it is drawn, but on that circular line with a precise and constant curve you must be equally distant from any country that causes unjust suffering to another. And intellectual honesty should make you admit that in that poisonous center there are both the Russian and the Israeli governments, as once there were the ones of Bush father and son and Blair so as not to go too far in time. But those who have a shred of good memory and above all of consistency know well that while different periods and situations from the past cannot be brought together, what must remain intact regardless of the selfish advantages of the moment is your place on that circumference.
It is an uncomfortable position, I know, and since the world began it is almost never a majority. But, you see, now our planet has no other defense than that fragile and at the same time vigorous chain of brave souls holding hands.
Tenderly tenacious along the circumference of peace and equidistant from anyone and everywhere who puts it at risk.

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