Freedom to …

Last week I had a conversation with a professional woman.  She shared with me how she is volunteering at a local animal shelter, along with some of her friends.  I congratulated her on the decision to volunteer and give back to her community.

Then, I shared with her that I learned at an early age about volunteering.  I remember when I was a high school student I began volunteering at a local convalescent home (this was in the 70’s).  I told her that I think one of the things that makes America great is that many of us learn early in life that we should do things to make our communities better.

She commented that she felt that there were two great things about America, volunteerism and freedom to wear what you want.  Let me explain what she meant by this freedom.

Ukrainian women, and more widely, eastern European women, have lots of pressure put on themselves to never leave the apartment without having a certain style or look.  Sometimes it is very “humorous” to see women looking like a “million dollars” as they walk with a guy dressed in jeans and a t-shirt!

Later that same day, I was talking with a guy friend about this conversation.  He shared with me that his wife feels this same pressure and will sometimes buy shoes/ boots that look tremendous, but feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Even though I have lived around this culture/ country for many years, I am still learning!  This insight gives me one more view of what influences their lives.

1 thought on “Freedom to …

  1. Hi, Joe,
    I’ve noticed the same thing here in St. Petersburg, Russia. I often see couples where the woman looks like she’s modeling for a fashion magazine while the man looks like he just finished working on his car. Fortunately, my wife (who’s Russian) isn’t a slave to fashion, although she always looks nice!

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