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In my “VITALY: The Misadventures of a Ukrainian Orphan,” I wrote about how hard it was to live in a Ukrainian orphanage among other Ukrainian orphans during my childhood. It was a challenging experience. But it also gave me invaluable life lessons which have stayed with me ever since. In this blog post, I will relay the five most important life lessons I gleaned from my childhood in the Ukrainian orphanage.

These teachings, such as the need for diligence and commitment, and the significance of education and personal development, have molded me into who I am today and have enabled me to face and surmount challenges to accomplish my ambitions. I wish that by sharing my story, I can motivate others to take on these principles and use them to find joy and prosperity in their lives.

Appreciate the value of hard work and determination

(see Chapter 33. Impossible Dreams)

One of the most important life lessons I learned while growing up in an orphanage is the value of hard work and determination. I developed an understanding of the significance of hard work and staying focused while growing up in an orphanage. At a young age, I realized that if I wanted to accomplish something, I had to be willing to dedicate the necessary amount of effort.

This entailed getting up early, working hard all day, and not giving up despite obstacles. As I got older and encountered more complicated problems, I realized that true success is derived from a mixture of hard work and determination. Achieving any of your objectives takes firm resolve and the decision to persist. Whether striving to attain something small or large, the key is to keep going and never surrender. By implementing this lesson into my own life, I have realized many of my aspirations and helped others do the same.

Don’t take anything for granted, as even the most necessities can be scarce.

(see Chapter 31. Much Needed Help)

From my experiences in an orphanage, I quickly discovered how important it is to be thankful for the basics in life, from a clean set of clothes to a warm bed and regular meals. Being faced with limited resources has helped me recognize the value of what I have and be thankful for even the smallest gestures.

This has made me more aware of my blessings and made me more sympathetic and understanding toward those going through the same struggles. This has stayed with me as I have grown and has given me the tenacity and strength to work hard and push through difficult times.

The importance of compassion and empathy toward others

(see Chapter 3. Lullabies in the Rain)

I’ve learned an invaluable lesson in a Ukrainian orphanage about the importance of compassion and empathy for those around us. When living in such close quarters with other kids who were all facing difficult situations, it was impossible to ignore their struggles. This taught me to be aware of the hardships of others and to be understanding and supportive.

This lesson has been with me ever since, and I’m sure it has shaped me into a more compassionate and empathetic person. We often take our privileges for granted, but we can make the world a kinder, more empathetic place by being compassionate and understanding to those around us.

The power of resilience in overcoming challenges

(see Chapter 40: University)

Growing up in an orphanage taught me the importance of resilience. With limited resources and often facing difficult circumstances, I learned that the only way to overcome challenges was to keep going no matter what. This meant finding ways to adapt and persevere, even in the face of setbacks and disappointments.

Sharing my talents: reciting poems and exhibiting my handmade basket weaving and was recognized by the school's talent show award
I was sharing my talents: reciting poems, and exhibiting my handmade basket weaving, and the school’s talent show award recognized me.

I learned that the ability to bounce back from adversity is a crucial skill that can help us navigate life’s ups and downs. It requires grit, perseverance, and a willingness to keep trying even when things get tough. Whether facing a difficult school assignment or dealing with a personal setback, resilience helps us stay focused and motivated, and it can ultimately lead to tremendous success and happiness.

The value of education and self-improvement

(See Chapter 27. The Power of Words)

Growing up in an orphanage taught me the value of education and self-improvement. In an environment where I didn’t have a family to support or provide me with resources, I had to rely on my skills and knowledge to get ahead. I learned that education is a powerful tool that can open doors and provide opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. It gave me the skills and confidence to pursue my dreams and improve my life.

I also learned that self-improvement is a continuous process and that it’s essential to constantly seek new knowledge and skills to grow and succeed. In my experience, the more I learned, the more empowered and capable I felt, and I believe this is true for anyone who takes the time to invest in their education and development.


Growing up in an orphanage taught me many valuable lessons that have stayed with me throughout my life. From the value of hard work and determination to the importance of compassion and empathy towards others, these lessons have shaped me into the person I am today. I learned not to take anything for granted, as even the most necessities can be scarce, and the power of resilience in overcoming challenges. Education and self-improvement were also emphasized, as they gave me the tools to better myself and create a better future. These life lessons have stayed with me and continue to guide me as I navigate life.

Author Vitaly Magidov

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