The Hardest of Christian Dispensations

I am supposed to melt a heart my dream reader with this post, but who am I dreaming about?
One of my favorite writers is Milan Kundera, the author of Unbearable lightness of Being. In one of his books, I trust it was Immortality, he wrote about Christian dispensation. He said, that it is easy not to steal, even easier not to kill nor to desire the other man’s wife. What is indeed a challenge is not to judge. Indeed, the habit to judge is deeply rooted in our nature, we are slaves of logic and we try to weight and analyze everything. The problem is that after initial evaluation we hurry to criticize everything, which stands out of our notion of “normality”. We try to put labels and operate with stereotypes, as we think we know better. As soon as I say I am Russian people offer me vodka, ask idiotic questions about bears and nuclear weapon, and actually the same routine of introduction to new people repeats again, again, and again. This is embarrassing, I am sick of it. It is also hard to reassure people as “they know it all, they saw it on TV” (of cause, TV is a holy point of truth). In current political situation I had to say I am Russian with a tone as if I am asking for excuse. Recently I just stopped saying it at all.
Indeed, people love to discuss politics. I don’t. Ironically, I have the degree in it – enough to understand, how tricky and slippery the politics is. The black is never black and white is never white – the one who has the more power will decide the color, an trust me if he wants he will name it yellow. The decision makers in this game are so unreachable, and so far from ordinary people needs that they will keep on going to their aims through corpses. Hundreds and thousands of corpses. But behind the politician games there are the humans, just ordinary people like you and me, who will suffer whom the silliness of their governments. My country is chocking because of the sanctions, the inflation rates and currency exchange rate bet all records, banks are closing, the cultural events are cancelled – people are desperate, and we are waiting for the worse. The whole nation suffers because of one person – the one, who actually will get everything he wants.
So who am I dreaming about? The people, who don’t judge blindly, based on the old stereotypes or the latest news – they are not as neutral, as you may think. I am looking for people enough open-minded to be able to listen, learn and respect. And take me as I am – not telling me that meat is healthy and how sick I will be because I don’t eat it, that contemporary art is so shitty that it is not art at all, that ballet is so boring you can go to watch is just to have three hours of sleep and that I should finish all my traveling nonsense and go to “normal life”. Telling this is not less embarrassing as offering me vodka. And as you may guess – I am sick of it.
P.S. I am supposed to insert a new form of media, so it will be a video from CNN about situation in Ukraine. To support my claim that politicians is dirty in every country and media is still selective in what they show and what they hide. I read news in Russian, Ukrainian, English and Italian – and know the truth about what is going in the Eastern Ukraine because one of my closest friends lives there – he told me how the city is under the fire, both from rebellions (they are btw not pro-Russian, they don’t know themselves what they want) and of the state Ukrainian army. Watch it, question what is truth

27 thoughts on “The Hardest of Christian Dispensations

  1. johnprejean

    Closed minds lead to closed hearts. Our world is in enough trouble, let us start treating each other like family instead of objects that have no value. Love your post, Awesome!

    • Thank you very much, and how right you are – after all we are the same human beings. What did go wrong so that we started caring about skin color or nationality or religion one belongs to so much?

  2. forgetitblog

    Hey there,

    Cudos from a fellow Russian for that post! I can totally relate to that.
    I also wanted to add that as far as I know judgemental thinking is one of the
    natural defense mechanisms that allow us to decide whether the person we’ve just met is dangerous.
    Evidently, this is why people that still live according to their instincts only are more judgemental toward others.

    • Hey 🙂

      Thank you! And you are totally right, this habit is a basic survival principle inherited from animals: you see a bear, you evaluate he is not the friendliest guy and big enough to eat you, you run as fast as you can. So people whose brain function this way did not go that far with evolution.
      The very irritating thing though as people who see the representative of totally unknown culture don’t use the opportunity to ask something, but start telling me and proving me how life is in Russia. Even their questions are offensive and asked in the manner that make me feel or guilty or undeveloped monkey. After all it is a good test – I know from the very beginning that if people did not ask me about vodka, they worth my attention and time. It works in 90% of cases.

  3. I hate labels.
    Loved your post.
    When you were saying that people tend to automatically hand you a bottle of Vodka, I was thinking about the stereotype that being Irish or Scottish tends to make people assume I drink A LOT (I’m not a big drinker at all) or I have a short fuse (I have little patience but have learned how to control that)…combine those with the fact that I’m also part Native American and part French… Well, you can imagine. I learned a long time ago not to make judgements, and have an open mind. I rarely talk about politics or religion because my viewpoints are not part of the norm.

    • Thank you, I can imagine, I guess every nation has the set of “must-have”. I guess muslims suffer the most: a lot of people do not understand their religion but are convinced they are violent and pervasive.
      I think that as long as you don’t disturb other people, you can trust in what you consider is the best and I don’t really get why people always need to bring you back to “normality”. The very notion of “normality” is the most speculative thing ever

  4. **Completely agree** about the judging part – it’s part of the reason I stopped going to church. And, I know Russian myself (I’m American, and began taking classes in junior high school), and I still get the “Oh, you must love vodka!” remarks. Also, it’s amazing – my husband is English, but he’s gotten some strange remarks at “Irish” bars here (What are you doing here?). Nevermind his best friend back home is Irish! Really great post.

    • Oh, that’s cool to hear that people start to study Russian, one of the hardest languages in the world, just because they love vodka. Smart, smart.
      Well, and since when Irish bars are open just for Irish? And is it announced on the door? Well, unfortunately, from time to time you have to face the silliness, but there are always great people to break through it 🙂 Thank you!

  5. bro8kenneth

    I like your post! It seems I am reading a blogger who’s aware with the society.
    I agree with you all about the media hogs. Know-it-all people arguing in the internet to who’s correct and who’s wrong. We couldn’t judge them because we don’t know if they’re unknown to the real situation same as we are or they just know them all. Nobody is omnipotent but somebody knows the truth.
    I’ve had this fair share when I experienced Typhoon Haiyan in my country. I nearly died in the catastrophe but I ended up dying more because of our corrupt politicians delaying the foreign aid and the people who are just rough to us – survivors.
    If only the world shows empathy and respect then I would like to give a little hope to humanity. Anyways, let’s all be positive.

    • Thank you very much!
      I am indeed upset to hear it, I just wonder will there be a day when our politicians will be selected from the best, not from the worst? In Russia you go in politics or at any state-subsidized position just to steal and take bribes. And they are even not able to stop, they want more and more and more and more… Not that actually in other places it is that different, I have not seen the country yet where politicians were any good. It seems to be their duty to go to the prostitutes, to steal, to bribe, to make dirty agreements between themselves and to pop up in some scandals once per year

  6. I laughed at the vodka comment! and I’m sorry. Though I guess we’re all here to get a smile from each other.

    You see, I get the “but you don’t look nor sound Mexican” comment all the time followed by the perennial “where’s your sombrero?” one that is supposed to be funny …though I’m not laughing… even when I want to. Which I guess only makes me human and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to learn to enjoy those labels and ideas the world has about who I am based on where I took my first breath.

    There are so many misconceptions about the country I was born in, but I have to confess that I have a couple of my own about other countries. I’m still a learner on this planet.

    • 🙂 Well, I think it can be a good idea to make a list of countries and the most common cliches about them 🙂 We already got Ireland, Russia, Mexico, England, Italy…
      I had a Mexican group mate back in Dallas. Nobody spoke English as perfect as he 🙂 On average he was so nice and funny, I loved him 🙂
      Thank you for your comment and welcome to the “stereotyped” nations 🙂

  7. Enjoyed your post and all the comments. Haven’t yet read all your posts, but suspect you would agree that one of the best ways to relate to other people is over a table of shared food.
    Cultivating a lifestyle of hospitality is one of the best ways to raise your children to be welcoming to all people, because as you invite strangers into your home, they become at least friends and sometimes family.

    • Well, there is no one who can agree most! It is of the crucial importance, it goes all way back to Bible and there is nothing worse for me than to share meal with a person I don’t like.
      Before I was an active Couchsurfer, so I literally went to houses of total strangers and hosted total strangers. It was so great, I met fantastic people, absolutely outstanding and sweet. Sometimes a stranger who has the same problem can understand you better than your closest friends. And you feel better knowing that your problem is a kind of universal, valid for all people across the borders.
      Thank you for passing by 🙂 BTW, it is a cooking blog, like yours 🙂

      • Actually, mine is not a cooking blog; I just used the cooking analogy to explain why I have such a hard time dressing up my blog. It is primarily writing – about lots of things – and I took your advice and put in some color and some pictures.
        I am about to post a blog relating to the subject of hospitality, so hope you enjoy it!

      • Ah, I like the picture of bread – you see so simple but it communicates your idea – for many kids freshly baked bread is a memory of childhood. SO great job!
        Thank you very much for mentioning me and I was pleased to read your blog. I love myself very much to gather people at my place and cook for them. I am showing my traditions and heritage this way

  8. thefrenchiebug

    This post talks to me so much! Your point is so correct about judging. I was talking to a friend about it today. We sometimes feel quite apart and notice we refer to people as “them” and “us” and that’s not good because we don’t want to be judge but doing that, we are judging them …
    So we fall in the trap.

    “So who am I dreaming about? The people, who don’t judge blindly, based on the old stereotypes or the latest news – they are not as neutral, as you may think. I am looking for people enough open-minded to be able to listen, learn and respect. And take me as I am – not telling me that meat is healthy and how sick I will be because I don’t eat it, that contemporary art is so shitty that it is not art at all, that ballet is so boring you can go to watch is just to have three hours of sleep and that I should finish all my traveling nonsense and go to “normal life”. Telling this is not less embarrassing as offering me vodka. And as you may guess – I am sick of it.”

    I completely understand what you feel (maybe because I am vegan, like contemporary art and ballet and life and travel are deeply connected for me 🙂 ). It always amaze me how people function with stereotype and how they allow themselves to talk so much about topics they know nothing about! It’s ok to have an opinion, it’s better to have knowledge to back it up 🙂 But I believe that the more people travel and live the same experience as you and the vodka for example (that’s the same for me and cheese, I hate it so much and people are all like “oh but you are french”! like being froma country remove your individuality and make you act like a walking stereotype) they will open their eyes and relaise that people aren’t a big block from one category but a mix of individuals, all unique and still connected!

    • Yes, after all we are slightly more complicated than bacterias 🙂 You know, usually my French friends are asked about frogs… so cheese is better I guess 🙂
      I read you have traveled a lot. I appreciate that you support me, and I appreciate much more that you love contemporary art and ballet 🙂 This is the reason btw why I hate when artists go political – they are fantastic people, but not with proper eduction in political science. And to make a piece without basic knowledge of the matter, just on emotions, is not that correct. Emotions may change tomorrow and the piece is already started its life

      • thefrenchiebug

        Yes we are indeed more complicated than bacteria I guess we also need stereotype and ideas to understand the world but humans are like the emotion you talk about, it changes all the time, so it’s difficult to deal with people if the rules keep changing that’s probably we cling so much to cliché. Sometimes I get surprised my self when I discover some things about people, like their taste, nationalities, religion and something will come to my mind “of if they like this or do that does it mean they will react like this and that? ” like you could predict their actions, sadly it’s just putting our selves in boxes but I guess it’s our logical brain trying to make sense of the situation. Luckily I keep being reminded that we are all unique so you can’t really predict anything and stereotype are dead ideas

      • I guess the key is never to loose the sense of what is logic – yes, sure you will generalize as indeed Christians are supposed to have something in common, at least common holidays, symbols they use and ideas they trust in. But of cause every single Christian is very unique person, who is just under this umbrella. So in many cases you should give a limit to your brain, saying that we can assume certain facts, but no need to take them for granted

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