Lessons from the USSR

In the USSR, I felt endlessly angry about every bit of stupidity that was inflicted on us. Forced attendance at demonstrations, obligatory trips to the kolkhoz, everything. Most people accepted it and tried to find something positive in it. Why feel angry about something you can’t change? they’d say. And when the USSR ended, they kept putting up with its remnants – the same obligatory trips to the kolkhoz, the same humiliations, the same disrespect. They didn’t understand that the only way to stop it could only come from them. They had to stop participating. There’s no benign outside authority that can make things better. Only you can do it. You decide where the off-ramp is and you take it when you choose to do so.

4 thoughts on “Lessons from the USSR

  1. B-b-b-b-but Clarissa! What if people don’t LIKE me?


    I’m the person who protested the junior/senior cruise. Because why would we bust our arses fundraising for a school trip that wasn’t remotely educational? I didn’t go.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Nice! I had fundraised very successfully for previous trips: a weeklong tour of Washington DC’s historic monuments and museums (plus colonial Williamsburg), and two trips to the Montgomery Shakespeare festival (and they were all great trips!). It was easy to get friends, relatives, neighbors, and church acquaintances to buy chocolate bars and raffle tickets, and come to our car washes and pancake breakfasts, for something self-evidently educational and/or culturally enriching.

        There was NO WAY I would be able to sleep at night, or look at myself in a mirror, if I went out asking my neighbors for donations so we could go on a cruise. Would not, could not, do it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The only fundraising I was doing in Israel was for a charity organization. Btw, I think sending pairs of middle school girls to knock on doors of strangers was not the best idea. In case of attack, the school could be sued. Not everybody is normal.

    Nobody is fundraising for school trips. Parents either pay or not. New immigrants do get free school trips during their first year in the country, but have to pay like everyone next year. That’s why I went to first yearly school trip, but not to the second. My mother was ready to pay for me, but I felt it cost too much for us then. May be, poor students get subsidized somehow and have to pay less, I am unsure.


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