Childhood is a matrix of destiny

In April 2016, the American Museum of Natural History hosted the scientific conference, whose participants debated whether we live in the real world, or all that we see is a creation of someone from the virtual space like the plot of The Matrix.

The question is not new. The Greek philosopher Plato asked it as far as 2.5 thousand years ago. The conference participants decided put the odds at 50-50 that our entire existence is a "matrix" programme. Moreover, if we are really living in a virtual space, we cannot prove otherwise. However, I think if we talk about the matrix as a canvas, which determines destiny, each of us has its own. And it is formed in childhood.
My childhood was hardly a quiet one. Up to a certain age, I was practically on my own: my parents worked a lot and my grandmother was unable to keep up with a lively tomboy. I grew up on the street, where I joined a friendly and inventive gang. There was nothing we would not do! We roamed the outskirts of Elista, climbed the apple trees in the other people's gardens, and organized badminton and chess championships. We fought with the boys from the neighbouring yards.
Eventually, my relatives got fed up with looking for me every night and decided to send me to a kindergarten. I was horrified by what I saw there after a disorderly street life: imagine moving in formation for a walk or lunch. For some reason we had to sleep in the middle of the day. That I could not stand: I ran away to friends through an open window. They found us on the pond late in the evening. It was the only day that I went to kindergarten: The manageress refused to take me back in the morning.

What makes us constantly to be engaged in some quite risky adventures, run away from home, knowing that we will be punished afterwards? It is the uncontrollable thirst for knowledge. You have to see everything with your own eyes, touch and try it. And they tried to lock us up in four walls and walk in formation.
Uncontrollable children's fantasy enlivened characters of the favourite books and films, demons and jinn from the fairy tales of my beloved grandmother Sulda. Petjka Shunkhurov once told me that he had seen in the desert the monsters from outer space flown to enslave Earth. Without telling parents, we prepared bows and arrows and arranged a night sortie.
Only we knew about the imminent danger to the world and only we could save humanity. D'Artagnan would not run for help to the guards of the Cardinal and the courageous spacemen of the "Planet of Storms" would not back off. The sortie, as always, ended badly for us, but willingness to solve problems on our own, in spite of everything, remained.
It is also deeply rooted in my childhood. I remember the first time I got into a "street to street" fight; I faced an opponent who was clearly stronger than me. Time after time, he playfully put me on the ground, but I got up again and again. It was impossible for me to give up. Once again, having knocked me off my feet, he whispered almost anxiously: "Stay down! It is not allowed to beat a recumbent one!" But I stood up again. Since then, it became more difficult to knock me down but even if they managed, I would still again and again stand up, even if it would take me to pick up the pieces of my body.
Street does not value the losers. But if you have managed to succeed in something, you have the right to your share of respect. Thanks to my grandfather, I learned how to play chess at an early age. I suddenly found myself to be a champion of the street when I was four years old. And I played well at school: studying in the ninth grade, I became the winner of the Republic championship. And I was trying to be the winner of other hobbies, whether it would be card games or climbing poles.
I never wanted to stand out, but somehow turned out to be a leader. Oddly enough, I have only one explanation for this. With all my reckless childhood, I learned quite early what responsibility means. Parents were always out at work and I with my elder brother had to do the housekeeping. Vyacheslav took it very seriously and it resulted in me trudging to the store for bread while my friends were playing in "cops and robbers".
Then my younger brother Sanal was born and I became a baby-sitter. Bathing, changing of diapers, household routines… And at the same time I had to do my lessons, practice chess, boxing, play dombra. How to manage it all? How to become the first in everything? If you make it, you are the smart one, if not then you lose your face.
And the second reason is chess. From my early age, it taught me judgment and how to respect the opponent. I was able to resolve conflicts by negotiations, to recognize the position of the opponent both in school and on the street and later in the army and the Institute. Well, if some would not listen to words then it would be another matter.
I do recollect it all now so as not to show what a good fellow Ilyumzhinov is. It looks like he is smart at anything. No, my childhood was normal for boys of that time. I am grateful to the parents and the destiny that I could always choose what I liked. I had a very active childhood.
And I think that is how the childhood should be. Not only parents, school and society must provide an education, but the person himself should make an effort to pursue self-education to be called a real Man. Today, many children are deprived of it: they have television and computer but what good can these devices teach? Would they make children test themselves and forge their identities and will?
I firmly believe that the Creator gave us unlimited possibilities. This is confirmed by a chess board that has 64 cells. And these 64 cells have incredibly large number of combinations. It turns out, that the human DNA has 64 codons. But, while we use all the cells of a chessboard, only two dozen of them are active in our DNA. Others simply duplicate their functions.
Everyone has probably heard about "indigo children", which show amazing abilities. Scientists believe that they use more codons than the average person. And if we would be able to unlock the full power of all DNA "bricks", what opportunities would be opened before us?
However, this would require several generations to live "up to their full potential". Instead, we drive children into concrete boxes, learn how to march in formation, give them fancy gadgets, which are the source of violence, vulgarity and egoism.
The famous surgeon Nikolai Amosov stated: "The early years lay the foundation of lifetime happiness. The term ‘happiness’ is somewhat exaggerated, it is short and transitory: to be more exact we should call it the level of peace of mind."
I would add that the childhood means much more. Exactly at that time the individual matrix that determines the fate of not only the man himself but also his descendants is formed. And even more: a community of these matrices determines the fate of all mankind.
Let's remember that. And let's think together how we shall "make work" all 64 codons.