During a recent economic cooperation forum, Turkish President Erdogan referred to the Armenian attitude as “spoiled and uncompromising.” Upon hearing this, I was shocked—appalled almost. Not because what he said was hurtful or offensive, but because, for once, he may be right. We are spoiled:
Spoiled with a language gifted to us by God Himself. Some people don’t even have a language, can you imagine?
Spoiled with food so deep and rich you can’t help but share your table. Neat little triangles of butter and cheese. Warm fall pumpkins filled with the earth’s gifts. Bread sweet and braided with gentle hands and egg wash.
Spoiled with women so strong they carried our traditions on their backs, tucked away in their bodices, kept safe in their hearts. And only when they were certain of refuge did they unpack, handing each of us a carefully wrapped piece to carry on to the next.
Spoiled with each other for when two meet anywhere in the world…well, you know the rest.
Spoiled with friends who although they may not be Armenian, ask questions, listen, understand that perhaps they will never understand.
Spoiled with churches that somehow feel alive. Their voices call to us, inviting and welcoming. Even their ruins breathe life.
Spoiled with eyes dark and magnificent. One gazing always at the past, remembering and honoring. The other searching steadily for what’s to come.
Spoiled with music that haunts and heals.
Spoiled with youth, with hands once held now stand at the front guiding, ushering us into the future.
Spoiled with schools that teach and nurture and know that a culture this beautiful becomes more so within the minds of its young.
Spoiled with a global diaspora ready to rally in the thousands and tweet in all caps.
Spoiled with a history so rich that we boldly retell our stories—even the darkest ones, while others cower and attempt to hide their own shame.
Spoiled with mountains so tall that it’s no wonder our land remains green and lush as if God Himself reached down to sow the soil with His own fingertips.
Spoiled with dances that tell a story without speaking a word. The grace, the strength, the unison of our people. It’s music.
Spoiled with a flag dripping with purpose—the spilled blood, the Heavenly Kingdom, the bountiful harvest. May it wave gallantly.
Spoiled with grandparents who are keepers of the past. May they continue to smile through their eyes and sing through their hearts.
Spoiled with homes that are warm and loving. I pity those who were raised to hate.
Spoiled with heroes who have sacrificed—truly sacrificed. May their souls rest in peace and may we promise to honor their legacy.
Spoiled with optimism for after centuries of fighting for our very survival, one could find themselves giving up—but not here and not now.
If you were spoiled like this, you’d be uncompromising, too. The world has never known life without Armenia—and it never will.