Ludmila Petranovskaya, psychologist
I think about statements like "do you not understand that you are being used, someone is striving for power at your expense", now there are a lot of them.
Their authors oppose themselves - everyone who understands and do not give in to provocations and manipulations - and naive Innocents, lemmings, hamsters, "children", etc.
Innocence, civic naivety — indeed, our great misfortune. When the USSR collapsed, almost all of its population was a crowd of complete civil and economic laymen, with whom you could do whatever you want if you lie with three boxes. They were deprived of their money and votes at the elections, practically not hiding their plans. They, openly laughing in their faces, were shown the program "Field of Miracles" - and they watched and sent homemade pickles to the presenter, and carried money into the pyramids, and voted with their hearts, and signed documents without reading. I want to cry when you think about it.
These people could be well educated, be excellent experts in their field, but as subjects of economic and political life, they were absolutely, virgin naive. This is not their fault - they grew up in a country where this life has not existed for several generations. Therefore, the situation was somewhat better where this period was shorter (the Baltics, where people who knew how to politics were still alive) or where market life did not stop even under the USSR (southern regions, where people who knew how to make money were not transferred).
It is not surprising that the most competent against this background turned out to be the mafia (capable of even criminal, but business) and the special services (capable of at least Machiavellian politics). They got power, practically without a fight, for many decades.
Simplicity in itself is not a crime, but it is, as you know, worse than theft, because theft rests on it and grows at its expense.
So that's what I want to say. The opposite of the Innocent is not the Cynic with his "they are all the same", "but where else?", "Oh, just don't need high words, they just use you". And not an Outsider with the position "I don't want to know anything about it, I'm a small person".
The opposite of the Innocent is Experienced, Adult, Knowledgeable. To undergo a transformation from one to another requires initiation, testing, experience of active action, both successful and not.
Over the years, many have received this experience, defending a courtyard or a square, or orphans, or their business, or their vote in elections, resisting arbitrariness, uniting with others for this. They lost a lot, suffered many defeats, many disappointments in their illusions and in people. But they received the experience of victories, and the experience of solidarity, and knowledge and skills. They are not profane anymore. And this is an irreversible process: you can move away from activism, you can change your views, you can sell your soul to the devil, but you cannot become naive back. This vision, this bitterness, this courage is with you forever. This gap between you and the Field of Miracles.
From all this it does not follow that there will be no willing to use and manipulate, where can we go without them. The only defense against being used is not to devalue everything a priori, but to be Experienced, to understand, delve into, understand.
However, Cynics and Outsiders do not understand this, they do not see the difference, this is their blind spot. Refusal of initiation makes the soul not an adult, but frozen, like an unopened kidney - nothing is visible from the inside.
I really want to hug everyone, everyone for whom the transition is taking place now, everyone for whom it is yet to come. It's hard, it's scary, and it's worth it. It also takes time and effort, so let's not get angry with everyone who is not yet. A little patience, long breathing is also part of the test, by the way.
As for the cynics, they simply should not be listened to, they have no expertise in this matter.
The original is here.