Living With Cancer

Berge Minassian MD FRCP(C), Toronto, 19 April 2011

All too often our discussions about the Armenian nation and its destiny are rooted in a fatalistic attitude, specially among large swathes of the Diaspora. It is akin to Ottomanism–our mindset when we were a subject nation for nearly 500 years.

Berge Minassian MD FRCP(C), Toronto, 19 April 2011

All too often our discussions about the Armenian nation and its destiny are rooted in a fatalistic attitude, specially among large swathes of the Diaspora. It is akin to Ottomanism–our mindset when we were a subject nation for nearly 500 years.

This negative stance is a quintessential Armenian posture and behaviour. Quintessential, not because of our genes, but because of our historic experience. There are other people with similar cultural baggage; the two main ones coming to mind–the Natives and Blacks of North America.
In our case, the negative attitude is the root of the demise of the Diaspora. In recent years the same destructive virus has infected our homeland, providing the impetus to the mass migration from the country.

To be fair, our fatalism of the Ottoman days served us well–to a certain extent. We survived half a millennium under the Ottoman yoke but remained convinced that someday we would free ourselves. When the First World War started, some of us prematurely became enthusiastic about conflict, believing that it would have positive repercussions for our nation. Some say our enthusiasm triggered our Genocide (I attach NO BLAME to the revolutionary movement; it is easy to criticize in retrospect.)

But this feeling is a cancer, a slow killer. Are we to choose between risking a speedy demise, as we did in 1915 or should we accept a slow death, hoping that somehow things will turn all right some day? Some Armenians seem to believe tolerating the cancer of RoA kleptocracy is OK…or there will always be a sufficient number of Armenians in Armenia when, by some miracle, the governance changes.

Meanwhile, should we stay silent in the presence of the spreading cancer?

NO. A resounding NO.

As for fixing the cancer in the Diaspora, these days I am overcome by the feeling that the battle is already lost.

2 comments
  1. Only a fraction, Dear Berge

    Not  the great  majority -We are coming  of age by and by.We have undergone some important changes.Thence please do not weaken the march…

    best  rgds,

    G.P

  2. Diaspora…smart… [but] …we are falling apart

    Dear all subscribers to this great journal.

    After having travelled a lot and seen Armenians and studied many nations, specially minorities…. I think Armenians today are one of the smartest people on earth: inventors of PET, MRI, Apple OS team leaders, MDs poineering research etc… but we lack a leadership, we do not have a living or dead figure who sets the overall direction in thinking of the nation.

    So

    leadership…

    Then….

    Communication: nobody knows about Armenian achievements as stated above, not even Armenians. Jews have a network that rules media, and Jewish achievements are always paraded around , plus lobbies.

    As an Armenian who did not go to Armenian school, and most of my friends are not Armenian, I can see things more objectively.

    Most Armenians today who went to Armo schools, have 90% of friendships with Armenians only and I have noticed they live a myth. The myth of total pride, in absolute terms, no matter the results. no performance appraisals.

    It’s a catch 22 that is hard to break. and the few who have broken it do not really mingle with the rest. We can be proud as the 1st christian nation…. and sit in our corner and praise our past….

    We need a revolution, of smashing blind ego, giving back the hell that our ancestors went through to create the diaspora.

    Was talking to an Iranian woman , who commented about Armenians in Iran positively and said they are very reserved people who don’t say much.

    I think the massive blow the genocide has created is fear and hiding, as it has with Jews, but a small percentage is making sure the nation is protected.

    I think genocide should be a tool to be strong as we have survived the worst, and still exist, so nothing should really scare us to be extroverts.

    I read some comments about politics, Obama bashing etc…. I mean where the hell are you people living….. a myth’s bubble. there are political realities out there……

    Our major shame is that after 100 years , only because Turkey is not desired in the EU, all those nations had their parliaments declare genocide….. for 90+ years they did not give a s….. no ball runs forever on past glory…. gravity needs to be countered by kicks every now and then.

    If i dare say this to an average armo, he will tell me to take a hike, as we are supposed to be superheroes like Batman, we never die by default. Well, that’s fiction my friends.

    Plus, the deep jealousy the people have towards the diaspora people, due to thinking the diaspora was on vacation when they were ruled by communism, is causing more victims than many earthquakes…. many see us as a blood sucking stations, us diaspora……. we are falling apart…..

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