Where Can I Find Plywood for My Airplane?

By Irbek Teziev. Irbek lives in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Please read his article and leave thoughts and comments below.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

After reviewing the quote above, I laughed silently, remembering one joke about the collective farm that overfulfilled the plan and received rewards. During a meeting with farmers they had to decide what to spend the rewards for. The milkmaid requested a new milking machine, the combine operator a new combine. In response, both heard that they both did a good job on the old milking machine and the combiner. When asked, an old man replied: “I would like to have plywood; I would build an airplane and fly to hell from your collective farm.”

People are always drawn to change, they want it, they dream about it. They always think that in their home place no one understands them, no one appreciates them, do not notice their abilities. If so, they begin to dream of a better life outside their city or country, to live where they will be noticed, appreciated and provided a chance for advancement and development.

Perhaps there is some truth in this, because in my country today it is very difficult to reveal oneself, one’s capabilities, internal potential and abilities.

After the collapse of the USSR, a “layer shift” took place in society. I am talking about people who left their homes and moved outside the country, thereby discovering a hitherto unknown phenomenon, like migration, and then emigration.

The entire former USSR is wandering today. This nomadic lifestyle is very difficult for some people. In the nomadic way of life, the whole tragedy that happened with a huge country can be traced.

The trouble is that the consequences of this tragedy people feel to this day, since 1991. In 2 years there will be 30 years, as it happened. Of course, somewhere abroad it seems that everything is always good and even better; we never think that somewhere there we can face the same challenges as in our homeland.

Nevertheless, consequences of the collapse are still visible and tangible. The society is impoverished due to intellectual losses (in the face of the most prominent representatives of science, art and culture). Among other things, a human being is strongly influenced by psychological pollution: rudeness, low culture of relationships, violation of human rights, humiliation, rejection of other cultures and traditions. In addition a pseudo-cultural environment when men face (and feel) all negative things happening in life (wars, blood, violence, mass media that replicating the most unattractive aspects of society).

The scale of the tragedy cannot be described, but they are huge, these are broken families and heartbroken parents, these are orphans who lost their parents during the Civil War, for example, in my country, this is a destroyed economy, and subsequently culture, education and medicine.

You can list a lot and for a long time, but everyone understands one thing, the war does not have mercy upon anyone, but it only destroys.

Undoubtedly, various international banks and organizations have provided and continue to provide tremendous financial assistance to the country, funds are allocated to restore a destroyed economy, etc. The process is a long and laborious nationwide. People understand everything and at the same time do not want to understand.

They want to live well, not someday, but today, now, this very minute. This is the catch. They live in reality, and not in a fairy tale, where a goldfish fulfills all wishes and dreams.

Everything can be understood, but it is difficult. The reason for all the troubles is a certain alienation of people, certain isolation from each other.

Everyone lives as if in a separate case (as the famous Akaki Akakievich Boshmachnikov, the Chekhov hero from the story “The Man in the Case”). Case is a form of protection of the inner world from the effects of the external.

People do not allow approaching each other because of unwillingness and mistrust. Even sincere friendships have sunk into oblivion.

Distrust reigns, people deceive and disappoint each other. This is of course bad. Mutual assistance, mutual support it seems they disappeared, it seems they never existed. Everything is measured in money, and conversations are conducted more often about money than about something spiritual.

Therefore some want horses to rush off somewhere far, far away, into a better future, while others want plywood for an airplane to fly away from all the problems and sorrows, from all the negativity that fell on the lot of ordinary people who want to live, and not exist, live in peace and harmony.

Where are you, my airplane?

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