You begin by reforming yourself


By Ara Baliozian

We all want the same thing: to improve matters.

We all agree we have problems.

We are unanimous in admitting we need reforms.

It's amazing the number of things we agree on.

It's the solutions we don't agree on.

It's when we start discussing solutions that the crap hits the fan.

Our Turcocentric ghazetajis want to begin by reforming the Turks, which is easier said than done.

Others want to democratize our mafias in the Homeland. Ditto.

Still others want to deliver sermons to our bishops to show them the path leading to church unity.

All these projects boil down to a single word: honesty.

How do you introduce honesty in a dishonest environment?

How do you convince a brainwashed dupe that he is not as smart as he thinks he is? How do you convince a crook that in the long run and for all concerned (including himself, especially himself) honesty is better than dishonesty?

How do you convince a bishop that ?a house divided against itself cannot stand?? How do you convince a boss that an ideology that divides the nation does more harm than good?

How do you convince a benefactor that by supporting institutions that legitimize divisions he may not be doing us a favor?

Finally, how do you reform a reformer?

Let me rephrase the question:

How do you teach the value of humility to a megalomaniac with messianic ambitions?

How do you convince a sanctimonious prick that uttering pious platitudes does not make him an admirable specimen of humanity, and that patriotism means love of country as well as fellow countrymen?

To say my solution is better than yours is to imply you have a better chance to succeed where far better men than yourself failed.

What is the answer?

Is there one?

Isn't there anything I can do?

Do I give up?

Hell no!

You begin by reforming yourself.

And that, my friend, is a project that may keep you busy for the rest of your life.

I speak from experience.

June 2008