Re: Why We Admire Zelensky: My submission to The New York Times' student letter writing competition May 7, 2022

This is the letter I submitted to The New York Times’ student letter writing competition. Although my letter was not selected, I still like what I wrote and am publishing it here1. It is a response to an opinion piece titled: Why We Admire Zelensky.

To the Editor:

I cannot stop from wondering, “Is this real life?” After watching the first episode of Servant of the People, both the name of Zelensky’s political party and TV show he starred as president, my eyes were opened to the striking similarities between the show and reality. His character and he were elected for the same reason: “to bring professional, decent people to power.” As an outsider, Zelensky’s story sounds like a fairytale, but it is not. This is real life.

As I, along with the rest of the world, hold my breath as we watch Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfold, I have trouble accepting real life. My generation does not know what to expect. We are the oldest alive to have never experienced widespread global conflict. We did not live through the Cold War like my parents; we never grew up during World War II like my grandparents; and we never saw the end of World War I like my great grandparents. We fear what might happen with more direct foreign involvement in this conflict. Despite the imminent threat of death, Zelensky and the Ukrainians’ resilience gives me hope that democracy and freedom can prevail.


  1. One of the many benefits of having your own website :) ↩︎