Aren Nahapetyan’s Speech during the “Child’s Rights in the Eyes of Children” conference

I possess all traditional, national values, and I consider myself a judge toward those who do not possess those values. I allow myself to judge the person in front of me based on their gender or nationality, sexual, political or religious convictions. I believe that only I am right.

These lines astonish the modern world. Through their conduct, the bearers of such ideas hinder the progress of normal humane life. The pity is that there are a lot of people in our society that have such a mentality. The catastrophe is that there are also teachers, political, cultural and public figures who follow those ideas. Mainly,  it is these people who enforce the good and the bad habits in society, and it is because of this behavior that people are intolerant.

All this began at school. Everyone was the same, and those who were different were alienated. The start of this was when we were forcefully taught to pray in first grade, not allowing students to determine their religion and emotions in the future. The start of this was when we gave a second-grader a bullet-proof vest and a toy gun, teaching them a poem related to destroying the neighbor. We told teenagers that we are the first and best nationality, after which that individual grew with the understanding that no other nationality or country exists.

Is there really not a place for everyone on this planet? Are we children required to accept the explosives that fall on us for no reason? And are we the main target of the hate spread so that we should stand with guns in front of the ones like us? By the will of destiny, we were born under different flags; however, we were upbrought in the same modest families. We love the same cartoon characters, and we all listened to lullabies before we went to bed. Nevertheless, we observe that we are enemies, and that was decided by educated, war-experienced and majorly life-experienced adults.

The political arena is flooded with hate. A newly developing citizen, whose political mentality is not shaped yet, observes only hate. After this, they halt interacting with those who do not share the same views, and they showcase the same hateful conduct. Observing the political arena filled with contentless insults, a person’s internally formed ideologies are developed with hate. Furthermore, under the veil of depoliticized and non-party ideologies, they put forth their own interests in schools.

An individual raised in an ambience of hate and intolerance cannot live in an ambience of love and solidarity. They will not see society’s delightful system which is spoken about so much. They will not live in a sphere of people who are ready to assist and sympathize. Since childhood, they have viewed only army films, and tv series in which a respectable character follows a criminal sub-culture. 

Only we can change this ambience if we so desire. A scientist and teacher should be the exemplar of a reputable person for our people and not the honorable criminal of the neighborhood who was convicted 4 times. Our people have to receive quality culture, in which there must be only love and solidarity and not blood and hate.

Thank you for listening to me. I hope that in years our children will not deliver speeches on this matter, and I hope that the word “bullying” will soon leave our rhetoric.