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Interesting letter by Tumanian

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  • Interesting letter by Tumanian


    One is sometimes overcome by very bitter thoughts but you are condemned to them and cannot get rid of them. They are like a heavy ailment when you know you have cancer, tuberculosis or cholera and can’t help thinking about the illness and either the illness will vanquish you or you will rise against it with all your being and will recover from it – of course, if courage and intellect suffice you.

    Those who have long and seriously taken an interest in our people have always come to the sad conclusion that it has a lot of bitterness in its heart.

    That is what they say and they say that with a deep anguish as though it turned out that tubercular bacilli had built their nest in the sick’s chest.

    But such sincere and honest men are met infrequently. Establishing the existence of an illness people usually consider themselves healthy and declare others ill. Everyone thinks of himself to be not malicious, not flattering, not mendacious, not intrigant – all these traits do exist but not in oneself!

    However, one shouldn’t believe this. And there is one truth with respect to us – we all suffer a deep mental ailment.

    You judge.

    Ordinary villagers, neighbours who have shared bread on more than one occasion are ready to burst with malice, or as they say, “turn black with malice”, if the land of one of them bears well.

    Even those merchants who don’t compete with each other lose their sleep and peace when hearing of someone else’s success and already don’t think about their own business but only about the success of their fellow countryman and given the opportunity they will spare nothing to harm him.

    An ecclesiastic however much be he paid, however much be he respected is not contented all the same, protests, complains of injustice. And what do you think is that injustice? That his fellow countryman is paid the same and that he lives well, too.

    Suppose townsmen and peasants are in a legal dispute. No court can solve their dispute and it lasts for years and it is not unusual that they dedicate their whole life and all their property to that judicial process until one of them stifles the other, razes him to the ground or until both sides suffer.

    We have our own press. Defamation, libel, lie, gloating delight, flattery have been in common use in it for dozens of years. It may happen that in no village has narrow clannishness acquired such a mean aspect as in our press. A famous publicist related that once he had heard someone from an editorial staff say without any constraint – the books of this writer whatever he writes must be invariably and severely criticised or ignored persistently – in a nutshell, destroy him in every possible way only because he is not with us, not “one of us.”

    You will find the same morals and manners amidst national, public and literary figures. No one of them can bear the success of the other.

    Let us consider teachers now. They are occupied more with dirty tricks against their neighbours than with lessons, and they always aspire to fan a trifling occurrence that can be easily settled within a friendly circle, invariably appeal to the authorities, disgrace each other both in court and in the press, persecute, become the cause of somebody’s resignation, kill morally… No mollification, no leniency, no limits for the spite!

    What is the reason for all this?

    To comprehend that let us look at the question from the point of view of the laws of nature and history by the serene and broad look that nature and history may give us. Along with other circumstances history has been a wicked stepmother for us. For many centuries has it cast us under the feet of barbarian tribes. And if being xxxxxled every living thing not dies, it is mutilated, demoralised and embittered. That is the law of nature.

    What is an ordinary cucumber field? It is known that a xxxxxled plant bears bitter fruits which one cannot eat, that’s why they won’t let you xxxxxle a cucumber field. So bitter and grieved becomes a man also – his soul, heart, reason. And this bitterness accumulated in man manifests itself in his actions, look, face, words – in everything and everywhere, in all spheres of life, and the whole life becomes bitter and cruel. It, that life, can contain many beautiful things – “progress,” “culture,” “press,” “literature,” “school,” “charity” – but all this will be like a wormy fruit. All these spheres of life will suffer similar shortcomings, a common illness that can’t be cured from without. Such a society even can produce talents, but they, too, will be unkind and in grief. Such a society cannot beget noble men, kind hearts, and lofty souls, i.e. all that makes life beautiful and the people – likable and kind.

    So, if we have national wisdom, spiritual courage and sound intuition, we must not connive at all this and must not fail to see that our people is spiritually seriously spoiled. The first condition for fighting the ailment, the principal condition for recovery is that we confess our misfortune to our own soul and to the whole world. And then the awakening of the salutary self-consciousness will be followed by the lofty aspiration to self-perfection and noble deeds.

    There is no other way. True salvation must come from within for we are sick from within.


    It's a little harsh, but it has truth. We do have this problem. When someone else is doing well, we feel jealousy, rather than joy. We're a little like crabs in a bucket: when one tries to escape, the others pull him down. In fact it is even seen on this forum to a degree. Well meaning brothers and sisters who have the same dream in their heart - the dream of repaid losses and damages and lands - but who nonetheless fight and bicker many times for no other reason but to feel better about themselves (marxists vs dashnaks, dashnaks vs hunchanks, etc). This is the main obstactle to the realization of our dreams and a more prosperous Armenia.
    Last edited by karoaper; 06-08-2005, 07:13 PM.

  • #2
    i agree... and this problem that we have is mostly with regard to other Armenians... it is SOOOO obvious when you go to Armenia or any other community that has lots of Armenians living in it.

    in armenia there is a street that has 5 flower stores next to each other, competeing with each other. not in a good way. each one wants to make more money so they are all expensive... i was totally surprised at the result of "competition" because as far as we know here in the West competition usually and always yields cheaper prices for the customer. but in armenia, because we are from an other sort of people, the only country where competition leads to higher prices, we dont abide by the natural laws of nature.

    anywho, this also obvious when we blame jews or turks or anyone else for our problems. i have a friend who i dont want to be friends with because she has this ugly mentality of "WE the WHITE people" must keep ourselves white. the funny thing is that anyone who is actually white, doesnt want anything to do with armenians. we have to look within ourselves, we must be honest, we must be loyal, and we must strive to keep our people educated, smart, intellecually able, kind, and sensitive to others.

    i sometimes think we are still living in some 16th century type of thinking style. sure we drive the newest cars, and live in nice houses, however that does NOTHING to improve us as people.

    as i was leaving Armenia last summer, i kept thinking what is it about this place that i cant put my finger on??? and finally when i was in russia i realized it: it was that people were wearing the newest shoes from europe but the water supply, electricity, and gas were owned by other nations, and there are some places where water does not flow, where villagers must go to a central location to get water. and THAT! makes me really sad! our country is soooooo tiny, and we dont even provide basic needs to the people... the money that goes to the government doesnt go to improve our infrastructure, it goes to someones greedy pocket, someone greedy mouth, and someone greedy heart. i have NEVER wanted to take anythng that wasnt mine, or somehting i did not earn. i feel like i am NOT Armenian enough because of that.

    anywho, i say AMEN! to Mr. Toumanyan, he hit the nail on the head. he said this in 1910 and it holds true today.