Dreams and Desires of Ukrainians

Maria BasovskaJanuary 17, 2023Dreams and DesiresInterfaith Connections

Artwork by Iryna Tsisaruk, age 14

Each of us has unique dreams and desires based on a variety of factors.

This is actually a very abstract and complex concept, since dreams and desires are individual for each person, and depend on criteria such as age, so it is impossible to predict all the aspirations and goals of any group. However, I would like to pay attention to the main dreams of the people of my country that are fundamental and unchanging.

We all are part of society. We can’t live without people with whom we share the same interests, and with whom we spend our time. Therefore, the desire to find more friends is a dream for many Ukrainians, especially considering that many Ukrainian children have left their hometowns, and not everyone manages to adapt to the new one. Among other things, many people want to keep in touch with their family. However, not everyone manages to find time for this, and not all family members may have common views, and some do not have the opportunity to meet with their family at all. This can also be considered a dream: to find the presence of reliable support in the form of a family.

People are undoubtedly different, and each person is an individual with their own opinion, interests, and goals. For people who are in the majority, finding acceptance may seem insignificant. However, self-identification is important for every person. I believe in the dream of being understood and accepted — when society appreciates your ideas and you, and does not criticize you. However, we often judge people rather superficially and require them to conform to certain “standards.”

The national identity is the foundation of life, protects against decline, and outlines spiritual differences from other nations. Each of the nations of the Western world has its own historical tradition, which has been formed for centuries. These traditions include the commonality of language, culture, faith, and mentality. The Ukrainian identity as a spiritual phenomenon has entered a new phase —to consolidate the nation to build a European-style state with the provision of economic, political, legal, and cultural opportunities for self-realization. The Ukrainian identity differs significantly from European national identities in that it emphasizes the importance of freedom, honor, dignity, and the possibility of spiritual development of a person. It is not limited to welfare, social justice, or legal democracy. It emphasizes the importance of human values such as respect for each person, personal freedom combined with responsibility to one's own nation, and respect for the cultural and linguistic identity of another person.

The political idea of ​​Ukraine as a land with power and the right to freedom and statehood exploded in the 19th century. Customs, traditions, and rituals that accompany people throughout their lives unite them into a nation. The Ukrainian people, stateless for centuries, preserved their customs and proved their right to independence. The Ukrainian national identity reflects the main national interests and sets the optimal direction of the country's development, both in the present and in the future. The Ukrainian identity unfolded in literature, ethnography, historical research, and theater. Cultural differences grew out of folk art, customs, and traditions. Although ethnic culture does not form the basis of statehood, the intellectual and cultural environment impact the process of growth for a national consciousness. Additionally, the research of national history plays a large role, because without knowledge of the past, the people cannot have their future. The first studies of Ukrainian history, folklore, language, and literature were the awakening of modern Ukrainian consciousness, and provided it with solid foundations. Nothing is more important for a nation than the need to find its historical origins and cultural background. This is exactly what Ukrainians were doing— searching for the basis of their identity.

For centuries, Ukraine existed in culture and survived through culture. Thanks to the uncertainty of our history, we are better able to adapt to the twists and turns of time. It has given us the ability to be resilient in the present and prepare for the future. In politics and economics, Ukraine strives to win its place in Europe and the world. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of money. In the new conditions, it is necessary to defend the interests of the people again and again, to show the whole world our origins, and to give proper status to the Ukrainian language.

Most people want to live in a peaceful, safe country, to have good health, and to earn higher wages. For some, the dream may be to get a well-paid job, which is needed to improve their financial situation. For others, the dream is to find exactly the job that will give pleasure, although in our country the first option, unfortunately, is more common.

All people are different, and everyone has their own dreams and desires. But still, there are several main dreams inherent for people from Ukraine. Dreams are a necessary component of humanity. Sometimes we dream about extraordinary things that are very difficult to even imagine. One thing is certain: we must dream of both the simple and the most secret.

What do Ukrainians dream about? As we have already discussed, some Ukrainians’ dreams are related to their culture and their ideas. As a nation, we developed the idea of Ukraine as a state for centuries. Yes, many dreams of Ukrainians are not only related to their finances; the majority of Ukrainians lack finances in order to make their dreams come true. Using this information, we can try to make a short description of Ukrainians and their perception of their place in the world and in Ukrainian society. They are freedom-loving, patriotic, and, at the same time, prone to individualism and personal quick success. If we think about the national dream, if we go beyond thinking about dreams of a car or a phone and imagine what should motivate a person to be Ukrainian, maybe then we would better understand what Ukraine as a state offers to its citizens that you cannot find in other countries. What do we have that others don't have? What can we be proud of and at the same time live by every day? In Ukraine, there is a sense of self-realization from the opportunity to change social systems, to construct one's environment. The Ukrainian environment will remain unpredictable, unstable, and chaotic for a long time, but, at the same time, it is possible and important to create schools, enterprises, and media. To create rules and follow them, and learn to build human-oriented systems and live in them.

Maria Basovska is a 10th grader from Ukraine who enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and computer graphics.