Loving the Armenia of Today

We Armenians are so proud of the Armenia of the past – Ծովից ծով Հայաստանը – and the Armenia of the future – այն Հայաստանը, որ վաղն է գալու – and somehow, the only leftover for the Armenia of today is a sense of dissatisfaction and complaint. Even the people who want to bring positive change to our country often love the Armenia of their dreams more than the existing one. But I believe that we need to love the Armenia of today, as imperfect as it may be, more than what it was or it can be. It is only such unconditional love that will heal and flourish our land and its people.

I agree that there is a lot of corruption, poverty, terrible transportation, you name it…and that they certainly need to be fixed. But there are also so many good things that we take for granted, things we will only mention when they are gone and we want to complain about their absence. So many of those good things strangely flow out of the seemingly bad ones. For example, it is because we have such terrible transportation that you can trust a stranger like family while you’re standing in an overcrowded marshutka like a chess knight piece. It is nothing extraordinary when a stranger squeezes into one half of their seat to offer you the other half or holds your bag for you while you stand. But it is extraordinary in every other part of the more developed and sophisticated world, where people’s privacy is too “respected” for such things to happen. As annoying as it sometimes is in Armenia, it is because people don’t respect each others’ privacies that you are never alone, even if you think you want to be.

These are just the things that I love about Armenia and would never trade them for more “sophisticated” ways of living. I want Armenia to become better, to grow into a country of justice, opportunity, colors, and freedom. And it will. But not because of our efforts to turn it into a country we can finally love, but because of the unconditional love we already have for it regardless of which stage of its development it’s in.

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