Timothy Snyder: Debts are awkward, especially debts of gratitude. When we owe others too much, we can find it hard to express our appreciation. If we are not reflective, we might minimize our debt, or simply forget it. If we think highly of ourselves, we might ignore a debt to someone we regard as less important. In the worst case, we can resent the people who have helped us, and portray them in a negative light, just to avoid the feeling that we, too, are vulnerable people who sometimes need a helping hand.
Americans (and many others) owe Ukrainians a huge debt of gratitude for their resistance to Russian aggression. For some mixture of reasons, we have difficulty acknowledging this. To do so, we have to find the words. Seven that might help are: security, freedom, democracy, courage, pluralism, perseverance, and generosity….