Life after Russia
My beautiful students, now I offer you to read the last part of Jason’s article. What thoughts occurred to him and what experience he gained! Enjoy!
Life after Russia.Socially it’s a great mystery as well. A fellow Russian friend in the U.S, gave me a big frown and told me this is a Russian smile. I would not go that far, but I would say that people mind their own business and there seems to be no side conversations with strangers. You have to get to know someone a bit, gain their trust before someone will open up and talk freely. I’m sure it’s a bit different out of the city, but apart of me wonders if everyone was this way before the Revolution. During Soviet times, your uncle or brother could be a spy, and you could not say much about anything, to anyone.
Does some of this social behavior carry over in public from previous times? The much older generation does seem lost to a degree. At least those who do not have a spiritual life and were trained by the State to rely on the State for every thought. There is just something in their eyes, you can’t explain. The younger generation however will be a great and hopeful generation.
Talking to many parents, I found no signs of drug problems, whether it be illegal or pharmaceutical. Most just stated poverty was the only real issue. If Russia can keep Western culture out of they country, they just might have a chance at have a sane and healthy generation of youth.
Spiritually Russia is growing at a tremendous pace. If anyone reading this does not understand the ancient and rich Orthodox Christian faith, you should dig deep and learn as much as you can. One should remember that the Russians learned Christianity from the Greek Orthodox Christians in the 900’s. They are not Protestant (1500’s), nor Roman Catholic (1054 AD), but they are tied directly to the ancient original Orthodox Church in the East for which they keep the faith and traditions very piously. One should also fully understand that Communism came from current day Germany, an atheist branch of the Anabaptist movement, not Russia. Communism was an invading ideology and force that destroyed over a 1,000 Monasteries, massacred the Czar, over 30,000 priest, and number not even known of Orthodox Christians. I’ve seen numbers that range from 60 million to 80 million or more. We will never know.
The new Temples (Churches), I saw on my visit are so beautiful. They are not full yet, but I met some very dedicated individuals and believe the younger generation will change this. Orthodox schools are being rebuilt and children split their time between public school and learning the faith and culture related topics in Orthodox school. I was warned I may meet a strict Babushka or two and I did. But I also met a ‘fool for Christ’.
An amazing, near homeless lady who had more faith than anyone I have met. I also met a wonderful priest and his family who seemed to have all the Fruit’s of the Spirit. He will be a great leader of the faith for his community. I will say it again, because it’s worth saying. If Russia can keep Western culture away, they will have a chance at greatness in this area as well.
Thanks to some amazing Russian people. I had an amazing trip. Sadly, arriving back to the states, I was met with immediate disappointment. I described Russia as a large mixed bag of pros and cons. I will describe America as huge money printing machine and American society as one big mental disorder. Every country has it’s problems including Russia, but their problems are of a different kind. I’ve spent time in Western Europe, Cuba, and other parts of the world and never felt any strong attachment. I was actually glad to get out of France in particular. When I landed in Russia I felt a strange feeling like I was home. When leaving Russia, as different as it is, I felt a strange feeling of leaving home. Beyond my control, I left a part of myself behind in Russia. Someday soon, I hope to go back and reunite with this part of me I left behind. Some day soon..
Meanwhile don’t forget to learn the Russian language here