#Maidan Diary: TO OUR MOTHERS AND OUR TEACHERS!

We are in our forties. We are a lost generation. We all have jobs that have nothing to do with our education. We have changed professions many times as things around us kept changing. We all are maladjusted: even those who managed to build houses in the vicinity of Kyiv are now renting apartments so that we can bring our children to school. We have managed to make some money but failed to spend it adequately. And now we are being used by politicians. We all are standing under the red-and-black banners although none of us are from Galicia. We have travelled across Europe. We all stood on Maidan during the “Orange Revolution” but it did not change our lives, and we ended up broken. Those who were standing on the stage, back then, have been feeding off the revolution ever since. We are the well-educated lumpen, who know languages, technology, and who have accumulated credits; we all have our talents and our little children. We are now back to the barricades, back to the slogans, and – again – away from the stage. We are incorrigible. We are again striving for something which we cannot express in words. “Think at least about your children.” And we do not think. We spend nights in shifts on the barricades. We are off against the lies, the anger, the fear, the ruthlessness, the money, provocations, the riot police, and geopolitics. And our parents and our teachers do not understand us. We – at the same time – post caricatures of Azarov.

Olha Bohomolets put it very nicely today when saying “We are like little children who come home knocking on the door, but Mom and Dad are not opening it.” We keep standing and keep knocking. And we are waiting. But they refuse to open. Only that she was talking about the people and I am talking about my generation who keep knocking on their parents’ door: the parents of the war generation, who spent their childhood in poverty, the generation of laborers, who had despised the manipulators, the generation believing in their country and losing it at an age, when the change of epochs is equal to emigration: imagine relocating to New York? And the lies all around. And now we, the children, are throwing ourselves into something, yet again. Two broken generations, each refusing to listen and hear the other.
How could you celebrate the May 9 Victory Day, and then, with a similar zeal, sing the “Lenta za lentoyu na boi podavai” [a song of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army that, among other things, was fighting the Soviet Security Forces during and shortly after WWII] during demonstrations? How could you consistently participate in the elections and win only once in twenty years, and only in the third round? And then face such a huge disillusionment after that victory?

How
– is it possible that we have traveled all over the world and still do not understand anything?
-become a believer at the age of twenty, baptize your children, and then – be sheltered by the Greek-Catholics during the night, after the police crackdown.
How could you possibly believe those Europeans, with their complicated names, faces, and languages, and not believe those with whom you are sharing one language and who have watched the same movies since childhood?
I have no answer, it just happened to be that way!
You taught us to be honest and not to steal, and we tried not to lie whenever we could even when facing brutal deceit in return.

You just wanted us to live better than you did. And – to some extent – you have succeeded. We just don’t know how to prove it to you. We are not settled enough, and we are still looking for our way. Sometimes we cry, but we laugh much more often, and of course we wish that our children and our grandchildren have a better life than we do.

But we are not ready to grant twenty plus years of our lives to those whom we already know. We have met them in our professional encounters, we even shared drinks together. On occasions. And we could always sense a chill coming from them, similar to one we had experienced during our encounters with local Komsomol leaders during the 1980s. We recognize them. They now wear other costumes and use other words. But their eyes reveal similar calculations, their souls – the same deceit.

“But your leaders – they are just the same” – you may say. And we have no answer to that. But we also cannot afford to retreat. We are here, on the square, with our banners and our tea. We are waving the flags and appealing to the world for help. As if the world had nothing else to worry about but us. And we are still your children!

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