What's in a word?

Will you play a little game with me?

I’m going to say (type) a word, and I want you to observe the images that come to your mind.



(If your mind can do two things at once, imagine sleepy elevator music….





What comes to my mind when I hear the word Russia?

Evil, Putin shirtless on horseback, Tampering
Dark, Cloudy, The sun never shines,
Cold War, Television scenes of children hiding under desks, Gulags

Nothing good?

Why do I not have
positive image?

Most likely because throughout my entire life I’ve been fed a diet of bad Piroshki.

What if I came across a cook who could alter my perceptions?

I did….
his name is Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

I’ve not read Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, or Notes from Underground. Perhaps I will now…because I read an article from Brain Pickings that has opened a window on my perceptions.

In the piece, I read this quote from the legendary writer:

Russians are unable to hate long and seriously, and not only men but even vices — the darkness of ignorance, despotism, obscurantism and all the rest of these retrograde things. At the very first opportunity we are quick and eager to make peace… Please consider: why should we be hating each other? For evil deeds? — But this is a very slippery, most ticklish and most unjust theme — in a word, a double-edged one… Fighting is fighting, but love is love… We are fighting primarily and solely because now it is no longer a time for theories, for journalistic skirmishes, but the time for work and practical decisions.

Is it interesting that his perspective of Russia(ns) is so very different than my own?

Our outputs are fueled by our inputs?

What are you allowing in?

People are people?

Most are good?