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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Private Territory

22 July, 2003 - 00:00

In our times of endless social transformations, when some systems collapse and others replace them, when the ice has truly melted, it is very hard to maintain equilibrium. When ice began cracking underfoot, everybody began to look for something to hold onto.

Judging by the results of the polls conducted in Ukraine and other CIS states, the level of trust in any social institutions: militia, healthcare system, courts, and state in general, is shamefully low.

Balancing on the unstable ice-floes, deluged with hail and rain, our people conclude that the said institutions are useless if not harmful.

What, then, do people trust in? Only one index breaks all records: trust in the family. When social cataclysms whirl around you, private life becomes like a lifesaver. This means above all parental care and then your loved ones.

Let the elements rage around you. In your small world, like in the center of a hurricane, you are surrounded by peace and mutual understanding.

This is what we see in the photo: this young couple ignores the foul weather, protected by an umbrella, and give their undivided attention to each other. If the ship of their love remains afloat under our unfavorable conditions, it will certainly not be wrecked in a sunny day.

It is no accident in the most famous anti-totalitarian novel of the twentieth century, George Orwell’s 1984, the main heroes were persecuted by the state for an “unsanctioned” love affair. Their private life was a safety island preserving their human dignity.

This is why the Soviet film, Collective Farm Chairman, was once so popular because in it the main hero tries to sort out issues not of winter crops but of the complex relationships in his own family.

For many generations the Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! was and remains a favorite film for the same reason: the movie’s message is that even most prosperous system cannot take the place of personal life.

May you long live your own private life. Amen.

By Kostiantyn RYLIOV, The Day
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