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Nowadays, various experts and public figures discuss the problem of values in Armenia. I believe that these discussions are extremely important as values are the basis for the development of any nation and state. Since I was given an opportunity to serve the interests of my people as an advisor to Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, I tried to understand and analyze the values that determine lives of our citizens. Undoubtedly, Armenia is home for different people with various political views and ideas. Nevertheless, in my opinion, opposing themselves to the state and authorities is something that unites the majority of our citizens. I will not deny that there are political and economic problems in our country. It would also be pointless to ignore the fact that some mistakes are made. Still, is it possible to find ideal policy and politicians anywhere in the world? People in different countries, including the most developed ones, always express dissatisfaction with their authorities. In Armenia, there is just a tough and direct opposition, which can lead to negative consequences.
When all we talk about is politics that becomes foundation for our value matrix, we stop paying attention to some fundamental problems. I do not claim that my reasoning is the only truth, but I want to convey my vision of that issue and try to devise some recommendations.
The first problem is our spiritual crisis. We stopped believing each other, stopped listening to each other and, most importantly, we stopped understanding and perceiving each other. Can any society develop with such antagonism? I am convinced that it is impossible. Trust is the main value that allows people and countries to move forward, develop politically and economically. We are suspicious not only of actions of the state, but also of all those who surround us in everyday life. Well, let’s say that politicians have a goal to deceive the society. However, how can we explain the reason why we do the same in relation to each other every day and every hour? Who is responsible for this? Each of us. We just do not want to admit it.
The second problem is psychology (I call it crisis in the minds). We have an incomprehensible feature – admiration for all that is alien and complete disgust for everything that is ours. Many people dream to leave Armenia in search of a better life in the outside world. However, in reality, most of them work as waiters and handymen in other countries, getting low pay and trying to make ends meet. Why do not we want to do the same work in our homeland? Is it really more prestigious to work as a waiter in a Spanish or French cafe than in an Armenian one? And we treat everything in a similar way: we can obey an American or German leader and work overtime for them, but we are not able to do the same when we are led by an Armenian. This topic is very complex, philosophical even. It takes a lot of time and effort to identify the causes of these psychological problems and try to find an antidote. Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove this poison from our body, so it slowly kills us and our common future.
The third issue is the impact of alien elements. Being an Armenian conservative, I am convinced that national interests based on the synthesis of our cultural and historical heritage are at the forefront. What are these interests? Firstly, it is necessary to preserve, strengthen and spread the notion of Armenian family. I believe that a family is not just a cell of our society, it is one of the most crucial elements of Armenia’s national security. As an Armenian conservative, I oppose any movements and initiatives that threaten the family institution. An alarming thing is when people that are far from understanding the Armenian culture are trying to implement destructive ideas. I would like to mention that I support the development of democratic processes and the primacy of human rights. However, in our case, external agents try to introduce ideas of chaos and permissiveness presenting it as democracy. Can we stay indifferent to these threats? We can not.
Speaking of possible solutions, I would like to dwell on the following significant points. Firstly, we must make every effort to change ourselves and our approaches. We are the prisoners of our negative way of thinking. At the same time, we are the ones who hold the keys to these shackles. Secondly, it is important to perceive the heritage of other nations adequately and pragmatically and to be proud of our own, without neglecting the great achievements of our ancestors. We must treat the state symbols carefully, preserve traditional customs of our great-grandfathers, follow them and pass on to new generations. We will not be able to move forward unless we realize this. Anyway, inspite of these peculiarities, our society has powerful potential that can be revealed if we become better and build healthy partnership between the society and state that would be full of trust and mutual respect.