A Russian Soldier’s Reassessment of Values. Memento Mori.

Editor’s Note:

This post went viral on Russian social media this week. Some people considered it authentic and complimented its author on his newly found wisdom. Others were more cynical and thought that it was fake or even written by an army recruiter. Perusing the author’s earlier posts about army life makes it seem that the text may indeed be real, but I cannot verify it. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. 

Re: Reassessment of Values

Memory Unlocked

Last year, when I returned from the Special Military Operation (SMO), I realized that I experienced a reassessment of values. This already happened to me in the past, but only in a basic way, namely when I served in the army on a standard 12-month draft. After that, I began to appreciate basic home life, comfort, and all that. Those who served will understand what I mean.

Russian soldier, World War I.

So, having come back from there [the SMO] last year, I started to appreciate life. Of course, I appreciated it before, but I began to savor it or something. Here is the sun, silence, and no danger. I became much calmer. Stopped rushing anywhere. My driving got calmer and more polite. Because I like the fact that I am living, the fact that driving is not a routine, but it is life itself. That even such a basic process lets you enjoy life, or rather, the fact that you are alive and that you can do this. 

I stopped feeling anxious because nothing threatens me, and stopped being afraid of certain failures because nothing I do here would lead to my death. I got married almost immediately. I looked at my person differently. In the past, we simply lived together. Well, we partied, drank, traveled somewhere, and all that jazz. And now, having come back, it was as if I could see clearly. Well, why bother running around and looking for someone else? I lost that feeling of “I’ll wait and see if I can find someone better.”


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In the past, if it weren’t for this, I would have probably continued to party and have fun as if I were still 20-25 years old and everything was still ahead of me in my future. It turns out that life is finite, and the end could come very quickly and unexpectedly. In the past, I understood that we are not immortal, but I lacked the full awareness of it. It seemed that the next year would come, and during that year, there would be summer, and in the summer there would, once again, be beaches, swimming, clubbing, concerts, barbecues, girlfriends, whose names my friends won’t even remember the same way that I didn’t remember the names of yet another girlfriend of theirs. 

After all, while I was there, I realized that if I die, then there will be nothing left after me. My apartment? Well, my parents will inherit it. My computer will be sold. My dad will take my car and will most likely sell it too. And only photographs of me will remain in an album that my parents will put in the attic. And so life would have gone by. I was alive for 30 years, and, bam! The person is no more, and nothing is left after him. Tears will dry, the ground will settle, and the cross will tilt, fall down, and rot. No one will escort my parents from this world, and a child’s small palm will not grab onto my finger.

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