Art critic, journalist
The government’s new program, which was presented and debated in the parliament for three days, was the most recent media event that developed, branched and concluded with not so rational arguments and rules, so much as instinctive tentacles.
It was a spectacular four-day process, which was like production casting when different actors wanted to receive attention and show their own importance and the flexibility of their mind.
And the production company (that is, we) was trying to distinguish between the best or try to sift through and find the best by questioning the abilities of some of the known and lesser known MPs.
If we put aside the new MP’s efforts to being sharp critics of the program (sometimes successfully) or just as sharply devoted (almost always unsuccessful), we can see that the best place (that is us) is reached not by those who read lecture text but by those who can wake up emotions. The text, which implies a hidden dialogue with the audience.
The project itself did not have the significance in the project discussions, the important thing was to keep the emotional bonfire going, which is still the largest capital in Armenia.
Any text, which is spoken from the podium, continues in the brain of the audience only when the speaker believes in what they say. And the not so new words of the majority of the new MPs were discouraging, because it showed their unwillingness to become more flexible than they are.
In broad terms, these three-day discussions were about faith.
The Prime Minister tried to recall the Armenian citizens looking for pride and happiness, the most important thing is to believe in their own strength that it is worth the effort to keep up the faith, otherwise life will be poor. In material terms as well.
“Poverty is in the head…”many of these words which came from the Prime Minister were attempts to localize and personalize in everyday life, in the examples of managers who were in a new situation.
And after the process of personalization, they were firmly convinced that the trust factor comes after faith.
Ultimately, real life, unlike the religious explanation, is not limited to faith alone (the belief in divine existence is beyond faith, trust lies in both sides, while faith only one).
And the basis for the smooth functioning of an advanced state system is trust.
Yes, no one has trusted in the state for many years in Armenia. The public servants were mainly corrupt, guarded by ignorant and shady connections. Instead, family connections were more robust and understandable, not public or state ties. There is a conviction that family members and friends (so called brothers) don’t lie.
The reason for not trusting the state was not all in the head. It was a fictitious model of public life when the only way to live a decent life was to distrust the state with a clear conscience and to believe in only in your own strength (or your brothers).
In fact, believing in one’s own strength is the easiest thing to do, trusting is the hardest. For example the neighbor, the inspector, the minister, the teacher, the builder, the media and so on.
Whether or not we want it, social trust is an important precondition for happiness.
Trust cannot be irrational, as faith can be, it connects society with mutual strings, filling it with an aspiration to become proportional, educated and humble, with respect for one another, avoiding insults (especially from different podiums).
You trust working balanced institutes, people and structures in a self-sufficient, automatic way.
“Don’t believe the government, but yourselves. Our government is just that symbol of faith,” said the Prime Minister.
Of course, he is right, we believe in ourselves, and it is pleasant when we are reminded of it. And with instinctive tentacles we feel the need for occasions of trust, in order to have something to hold on to.
You can pay very high taxes, live in poverty for some time (in the material sense), ride in vehicles on the verge of dying, continue to abhor the fake reforms of the school system and poor roads, walk under the rain without an umbrella and the one who holds that umbrella, but only in the case when you trust that your taxes and patience will come out of the field of trust and will appear where you can visually see good transportation, safe old age, a quality education and humble public servants.
And if that does not exist, we (as representatives of a production company) will try to figure out where to seek the signs of the idea of a state based on calm, social equilibrium.
In other words, how faith in yourself meets the state’s self-adjusted settings that are so thoughtful and self-adjusted that they will no longer need burning emotional texts.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.