Turning a deaf earTaras Sydorzhevsky
We should admit that we are some incorrigible optimists, indeed, when it comes to the future of our country. Speaking of us, I mean the majority, our collective self. This is where we need to start from. "Anyway, someday, sooner or later, everything will be fine," we say to ourselves. After all, no matter how many problems fall on our heads, we should admit: we believe that someday we will be rewarded, that our bright future will come one day. We have suffered so much, so we deserve it. We have lived through revolutions, we are now fighting back in a hybrid war with Russia. So many people died, the good people. So many tears and blood have been shed. Is this all in vain? There must be justice ... Yes, we can criticize the situation and complain, but we do think this way, don’t we?
I’m not saying that optimism is wrong. It’s not. It gives energy to us, and so does our belief in our bright future. But there is a side effect. On the downside, this self-hypnosis brings us to being willing to "wait a little more." And this "a little more" seems to constantly be delayed. That’s since we believe by default that the problems are "temporary" and "everything will still be fine," so we can continue getting by and start living a good life sometime later.
After all, the day will come when the war in Donbas will see a "resolve." It can’t go on forever, right? One day real reforms will be launched. One day Ukrainians will become conscious voters and see adequate people in power. Those elected will stop stealing, quarreling, and fighting each other, giving and taking bribes, illegally engaging in shady dealings. They will finally pass on their authority, stop usurping power, and building up dictatorships. One day... Maybe we’ll remain patient for another generation or two… Maybe we will not live to see this happen, to hell with it, but our children will definitely get their things together and live a better life. We just need to wait and be patient.
But years go by. Someone waits, someone continues to believe in the future. Someone simply finds peace in what’s going on over time. Meanwhile, someone opens their eyes to the shabby streets and poverty, gets tired of all this, takes off their glasses and finally decides to go pack his stuff for good. And someone (that’s whom I’m talking about), having access to the legendary trough (the one who’s higher up the ladder) or a smaller feeder (the one who’s lower down the steps), goes for a itty-bitty compromise with themselves and decides simply to live a good life for the time being. Like, everyone does that, don’t they? Fortunately, there is an opportunity for this, so why not? "Come on, I'll eat a little more cream, gain some strength, and start doing something good then," they think.
And this collective procrastination, burying own head in the sand, this collective delirium, inevitably leads to the fact that nothing, in fact, changes in a global perspective. Moreover, it’s even becoming worse while "normal" countries keep developing. But the most tragic thing is that external problems don’t go anywhere. They don’t just "disappear." There is a huge death machine by our side. However rusted and shabby, it’s still alive, despite seeming dead for so long. And it is heading our way.
It becomes difficult not to notice how Ukraine is being directly advised – yelled at - "Get yourself together already! Do something! Fight with your main enemy, corruption! Carry out reforms, and do it quickly - you are at war! You must stand strong! You will not see any investors, any development or better life if you leave everything as it is." This is the message, to put it simply, we are hearing now. Today, once again, EU leaders told us about this during their Kyiv visit.
But looking at the circus in the Rada session hall over the past days and at the anxious looks of the “untouchables,” there comes a creeping thought that this message falls on deaf ears of its target audience. They seem to have other things to care about. "You give us that advice but we have our very important things to do, you know," their eyes say. Clearly, in such a mess it's easy to find a loophole for personal enrichment, at all levels. No one will notice, they think! They can be understood because the main thing in their life is their families… Our women will give birth to more people. Is that what they think?
"And Thomas the Cat turns a deaf ear and keeps eating his chicken," Krylov once wrote in his famous fable.
Everyone understands that we are facing plenty of problems and in such a situation we cannot remain careless. Our inaction and our hope for another chance, the failure to address important problems in a timely manner are literally killing people, day after day, both at the front line and in the rear, as a result of low living standards. But, unfortunately, it seems that giving up on old habits is apparently too difficult of a task. And the notorious collective irresponsibility comes into play.
"That’s the kind of life we have in this stupid country," one of the MPs was secretly recorded as saying recently. "So why should it be me who is supposed to live a righteous life in this country?" Is it what he is thinking?