Times are a-changing in Russia. Is it the economic crisis or is it a moral awakening?
If in the 1990s and early 2000s, the criteria of success and success were pretty decisively material well-being (33 percent) and career (43 percent), today the understanding of success varies among Russians
More precisely, it is returning to normal. For 32 percent, polled by the Public Opinion Foundation, success is the happiness of the family, for 27 percent - material well-being, for 20 –a good job, for 6 - career, for 5 - self-realization.’
The ‘career’ has lost its golden pedestal”- comments the managing director of the FOM Larysa Pautova. - And with it, the era of the manifestation of extreme individualism is shifting.
Its place in the hierarchy is gradually, and not without competitive resistance, occupied by traditional values.
Of course, the role and importance of material prosperity are not being questioned, but what is changing is the weight of their importance in life’s system of values.
Sociologists hypothesize that one of the reasons that that Russians put less weight on the high status of career options and material growth, simply because amid Russia’s ongoing economic crisis, achieving material prosperity is pretty difficult.
Indeed, in surveys, a majority Russians maintain that achieving ‘success’ is hard.
Interestingly enough, though, many Russians don’t blame the crisis times for their financial and professional difficulties. They name as major impediments ‘laziness and inertia, social passivity and ‘difficult life.’ Many believe that success (or lack of) depends more on people themselves, rather than on outward factors.
Whether this mental shift is caused more by environmental factors or moral awakening, is a difficult question to answer.
But that begets the question: Have Russia's economic difficulties contributed to the country's moral awakening?
What if an economically harder life creates a more morally beneficial environment, more so than a life that consists of gorging on comfort and pleasure?
Perhaps, in less comfortable circumstances, people are less blinded by the fluff of material prosperity and are more likely regain their senses and realize what, ultimately, is truly important in life.