How Traveling will make World a better Place

Every bird should have its sky!

Every bird should have its sky!

I was born in the USSR, on the other side of the iron curtain, in isolation, surrounded by enemies. White spot on the map in the knowledge of Western world, but it was largely perceived that in USSR people were hostile and life was tough. The same was true all the way around: Soviet people were persuaded that Uncle Sam hates us and dreams about erasing the country from the earth surface. And capitalistic countries’ citizens share his ideas. I think majority of Soviet people questioned the latter, and not because they were so nice, but simply because the very fact of American existence was rather a myth, a communistic version of hell. Did someone go there and saw it with his very eyes? No, so even if America existed, after all it was as irrelevant, as life on Mars. Yes, these guys may dream to conquer us one day, but as for now they did not show up – so let’s better care about something useful, for example what can we watch today from the theater.
More than 20 years ago Soviet Union collapsed, and the rests of Cold War were finally buried under its ruins. Travelling out became permitted, and later even common and affordable for an average person. Later the technology provided us with an opportunity to connect with the whole world. We started going around for studies, job or pleasure with frequency nobody could imagine 20 years ago and even staying home we can chat with, let’s say, Vietnam or Brasilia. My mom when she came to visit me in London first of all ran to the Tower. Why? As she told when she as a little girl studied English in school she could not even dream she may see Tower one day. The moon was more probable due to the advanced Soviet space program.
Thus, traveling became available for people from my Motherland and stopped being elite pleasure for selected only in general. That is truly pleasurable, but I believe it will led to something more, than only nice time spending.
Ironically enough, before those selected who could afford the travel were rich, influential and in many cases they were involved in politics. So basically they were the voice, transferring the opinions to masses: if they had told, let’s say so, Americans were idiots – who would have questioned them? They have been in America; they have seen Americans. All Soviet are underdeveloped and live in forest – yes, because no one from ordinary people went to Soviet Union to check. Now people who have travelled a while would hardly trust a single word of politic propaganda of any type: just as we visited many places ourselves and luckily we have a bunch of international friends, whom we can call and ask about what is going on there in your country? Without any doubts, we became more open-minded and more knowledgeable, thus less easy to manipulate and press. And I hope more human, as after all you see that people are the same in their core in every corner of the world.
But if we look at it in a long-term perspective, the very popular political tool of generalizing nations under one umbrella term, like Soviet – dangerous, Chinese – slaves, Americans – money-fixed etc. – will loose a lot in its power also because of… multiethnic couples! My partner is Italian, and I doubt our kids will think that there is nothing but mafia in Sicily and nothing but vodka in Russia. As we live in UK, neither will they have wicked ideas about this or any other country they will grow in. Moreover, at my partners job every couple is multiethnic, and he works with around 30 people. The very notion of nation in its aggressive, superior form of we-are-better-than-they becomes obsolete.
Moreover, one of the fundamental distinctive features of a nationality is language. But the younger generations start learning English from the early ages, and perceive it as almost a mother tongue; so many people use English at work on everyday basis or while traveling that we indeed are more cosmopolitan nowadays.
I trust in humanity and the common sense of people, and I am sure that all these changes will facilitate the better world. I trust, that the very notion of the Cold War is not relevant anymore, because it is not “we” against “them” anymore, it is “we” against “us”. Just imagine, how much money could be saved not producing another, more powerful atomic bomb and how much we accomplish with this money: we can cure the diseases, fight the starvation, give education for those who can’t afford it… All we need after all is to be more human and more open.

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