BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Let’s say you and I are seeking some things, some benefits, goods, whatever they might be. Let’s say, too, that I want two “items” and you want seven. Should we cooperate on the common, shared parts of our endeavor? Or, should I oppose you and disrupt your efforts to get what you seek just because it is different (more)?
There seems to be that sort of dynamic going on sometimes.
Historically, before the re-independence of Armenia, that happened all the time in the Diaspora. Around April 24th, when people got more active, ARF circles wanted to demand recognition, reparations, and return of our lands in a free, independent and united Armenia. Opposition circles wanted to have nothing to do with talk of independence and freedom, since it smacked of putting down their patrons in Soviet Armenia. Consequently, talk of lands and reparations would have to be subdued, at best. This is an example of “less” opposing “more” and causing “more” harm.
We have the example that was the topic of my piece last week, author Meline Toumani. She point blank states she is not interested in pursuing Genocide recognition. That’s fair. Perhaps she’s not an activist, political type, or even simply has other interests that hold greater appeal. What doesn’t make sense is when she makes statements, orally or through the content of her book and preceding articles that impinge on others’ ability to pursue and achieve that goal. This is another example of “less” opposing “more” and causing “more” some degree of harm.
When engaging in negotiations, does one start by asking for less or more? To ask for less would be cutting one’s own throat, even if less is ultimately acceptable. To start by asking for less would almost assuredly lead to receiving even less than that. Ergo, even from the self-interested perspective of the “less” seeker, it makes sense to go for more.
Also, if the desired result is YYY, but the seeker, trying to be clever, asks only for Y, calculating “I’ll ask for one Y, then another, and then yet another.” This disregards human nature in that once people give something, they are far less apt to give that same something again, especially to the same recipient, or, even something different to the same recipient.
The more times someone asks for something, the less credible that person is perceived as being. Soon, s/he is seen as a nuisance, a beggar to be pitied, but, alas, not taken seriously.
If a team is seeking something, then discord among the members of the team impacts negatively on the chances of achieving that goal. This is particularly true of cases where the less-versus-more dynamic is manifested.
How are any of these disruptive “lesses” and their advocates equitable, fair, just, reasonable, or sensible? Why would anyone accept or tolerate such destructive behavior?
I ask my compatriots to do what you can in pursuit of whichever aspect of the Armenian struggle most interests and engages you. But please, don’t impinge upon the ability of those compatriots who may be working on a broader portion of the spectrum of that struggle. Please, don’t even succumb to the temptation of being so-called “reasonable” and consequently seeking less than you otherwise would. Remember, a quarter century ago, the re-independence of Armenia was deemed by many to be UN-reasonable, just a pipe dream.