A Hero of Our Time

As we publish the results of this VTsIOM (All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre) opinion poll, we hope it will help our readers to better understand "those enigmatic Russians" and the changes underway in Russia. For all reforms, as the saying goes, start in the heart and soul before they spread to politics and the economy.

Which of the following characteristics fits your image of a respected and worthy person today? (UP TO FIVE RESP ONSES )

Decent, living according to his conscience5357
A good family man4645
Tolerant to other people4038
A professional with a high level of proficiency3437
Law-abiding, respecting and living by the laws1434
Good listener, sympathetic, helping other people3626
Enterprising, capable of organizing his life2426
Educated, well-bred2725
Patriotic, placing the interests of the homeland before his own1524
Having convictions, defending his citizenship1520
Believing in God and trying to live by His commandments1116
Well-off, with good income1115
A modest laborer, not striving for glory and honor229
Gifted, talented149
Possessing power, connection, influence in society88

SOURCE: www.wciom.ru

The most important change of the past ten years is a new respect for the law. More frequent references are made to patriotism, civic responsibility, piety and following the Commandments.

Unfortunately, held in smaller respect today are kindness and compassion, modesty and hard work, and talent.

Professionalism today matters more to men than to women (41-34%), and similarly the spirit of enterprise (29-24%), and a firm civil stand (22-18%). Women, on the other hand, have greater appreciation for integrity (60-54%), domestic virtues (50-40%), tolerance (41-35%) and piety (21-11%).

The elderly value life according to the Commandments (24% of 60 years of age and older, versus 10% in the 18-24 age group), just as life in accord with one's conscience and not in pursuit of pleasure and financial gains (72-45%), and modesty and hard work (12-6%).

The higher the respondent's education the greater importance he attaches to proficiency (22% for persons with unfinished secondary education versus 44% for complete and incomplete higher education), culture and education (18-29%), the spirit of enterprise (14-28%), firm convictions (10-22%), and reckoning with others' opinions (33-40%). There is an inverse relationship with kindness (36-21%) and modesty and industry (13-7%). The contrast is especially striking with integrity (67% against 55-57%).

Well-to-do respondents attach greater importance than low-income groups to the spirit of enterprise (35-17%), proficiency (43-31%), high incomes (18-10%), talent (13-7%), and social contacts and influence (12-6%). The situation is reverse with integrity (48-61%), kindness (20-34%), piety (10-21%) and hard work (5-16%).

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