By Vic Gerami
As an Armenian-American activist journalist, I have been covering Artsakh and Armenia almost exclusively for the last seven weeks. I write editorials, interview members of Congress about the situation on my radio show, give interviews to TV programs, and rebuttal biased, ill-informed, and lazy journalists about 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. I co-produced the ‘I Stand With Artsakh & Armenia‘ celebrity PSAs. I also read quite a lot of articles about Artsakh and Armenia from various sources of media. Finally, I read posts from fellow Armenians on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
My experience of reading social media posts is that a lot of people do what’s called ‘dumping’ in 12-Step. Dumping is when someone shares at a 12-Step meeting about their life, a bad situation, a personal challenge by unloading all the negative, but without suggesting a solution or what they are going to do to address the problem/challenge/negative feeling.
I realize that all of us are hurting very badly and in a lot of pain to say the least. And that we need to get things off our chest, be heard, and vent to fellow Armenians who understand the pain. We are traumatized, shellshocked, and stunned that we just went through another genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing in the hands of Azeris & Turks in 2020. Further, we are angry and feel betrayed that the world abandoned us-again.
But here is the issue with dumping merely negative information, pessimistic views, and doomsday predictions in a group without suggesting a solution, an alternate approach, or a productive course of action. Dumping may feel good momentarily as we get something off our chest, but it does not have a lasting effect. It also exasperates all the negative feelings that we are going through and puts salt into the wound. Simply, it keeps us in the problem and not the solution.
It fans the flames of negativity and pessimism. While it’s natural to have a mourning period while we cry, complain, vent, and even lash out, we need to channel those feelings into solution-based actions at some point. Since I am a grateful recovering alcoholic with 12+ years in a 12-Step program, I will give you an example of how this is done.
Let me give you an example of a share, first the ‘stuck in the problem’ version, followed by an ‘in the solution’ alternate.
“I just watched a video of Azeris damaging an Armenian church in Artsakh and vandalizing historical monuments. It’s like Nakhichevan all over again. Those savages will destroy all our cultural riches so they can claim that they were in Artsakh first. And nobody cares, the world turned a blind-eye the first time and they will do it again.”
Alternate: “I just watched a video of Azeris damaging an Armenian church in Artsakh and vandalizing historical monuments. This cannot be like Nakhichevan all over again. We are more awake and have better resources to stop it before it’s too late. We must make noise and expose them for what they are doing. Let’s write, call, and tweet the main international organizations that have to do with cultural heritage-UNESCO, ICCROM, Council of Europe Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage and Landscape, and EAC.”
The alternate share leads us out of the problem and puts us in the solution. I hope this helps at least one person. Again, this is simply my experience, strength, and hope. It is merely a suggestion. Take what you like and leave the rest.
Kind regards to Armenians all over the globe. Let’s remember that we are doing our best and should not be hard on ourselves. And I will leave you with this. ‘We cannot think ourselves into right action, we can only act ourselves into right thinking.’