Monte Melkonian: “Reality is Often Bitter”

01:36, November 25, 2012

Here are some excerpts of letters written by Monte Melkonian to his wife Seta.
In light of current issues in Armenia and Diaspora once again I ponder about Monte’s timeless thoughts. Here are just a few…(S.M.)
“I wrote that I was very eager to talk with you in depth about our people’s situation today. I said there were very many bitter and sad realities we had to understand. Yes, hokis, reality is often bitter but nevertheless it is reality we have to look it straight into the face, live through it, and someday change it. Until we change it we have to do many things we’d prefer not doing; we have to be responsible and politically realistic. When we’re together I’ll explain as best I can, and I’m sure you’ll understand. The fact is that an enormous amount of people do very bad things- things that are against our people’s true interests- without even knowing it. Many of them are even convinced they’re doing something good and necessary. This is the case not only with Tashnaks, but also with most Ramgavars and Henchaks. That’s how it is that some of the nicest and most patriotic people have led our Diaspora into this terrible situation over 70 years. Without political clear mindedness the people with the best intentions can do a lot of harm. In one of your letters years and years ago you remarked that I was a very demanding (խստապահանջ) person. Yes, at least in the patriotic issues I am because I take our people, our homeland and our future very, very seriously. No one has the right to not be a demanding person.
…our Diaspora is in a terribly bad situation. Worse than we think at first sight. Despite all this we must find a way to push forward. We must create a hard working positive trend that will overcome the difficulties one-by-one. It will be very hard, but we must do it.
My dear, while writing all of this, another subject has come to my mind: that of emotions and serious work. You know I am really very full of emotions- love for you, our people, our homeland, our family, for all of mankind, for nature, for knowledge; and hatred for the enemies of all the above. Believe me, my emotions are very intense. But at the same time I realize, that to do anything constructive and good I must control my emotions. This is not at all easy, and I don’t always succeed. (In the special case of my love for you I don’t even want to “control” it [….] But you’re a very special case) However, as far as possible I do try to control things since I know it is absolutely necessary in any serious work. Sometimes it’s like torture but we have to do it anyway. I have seen many Armenians (and not Armenians) blinded by emotions which have led them into irrational actions. We must learn to be intelligent, thinking logical human beings. We must learn to control our emotions and if possible find ways to use these emotions to reinforce our work, instead of misguiding or confusing us. We must do this because we must take ourselves seriously. Seta, you and I have an enormous amount to give to each other. We also have a lot to give to our people (perhaps even to other peoples) [….] Our life will be one big difficult, wonderful whole. We must create.
19-20 November, 1988
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