By Garen Yegparian
So here’s the story.
I was at a party–I know you’re shocked–whoever heard of going to a party this time of year? It contained quite an eclectic mix of people–running the political gamut left to right–Armenian and non-Armenian alike. It struck me as a house warming/Christmas/law school party (interesting remark overheard–"Now I’ve seen everything–Armenian dancing at a law school party"). I was about to leave one of the hosts introduced me to the woman he was chatting with.
Me being me–within two minutes–noting that she seemed intelligent and concerned–I asked–"Why haven’t you recruited her into the Burbank ANC?"
Then it happened: "We don’t have to politicize everyone," he said.
Clearly–not everyone is a "political animal." We don’t all live to see red vs. blue states in US presidential elections–or to catch the latest–faintest nuance in the utterances of the Chinese communist party’s representatives–or even to poke fun at the latest foolishness indulged in by the world powers in the Middle East.
Another important point–simply to say "I’m Armenian" in the Diaspora is to make a political statement.
That being said–there is a very important distinction to be made between being political and being politicized. Being political denotes being involved in the electoral–factional aspects of a country or organization; being politicized–on the other hand–means being alert to cultural-economic-political-social developmen’s and their impact on and relevance to us. While "us" could be any defined group of humans–obviously in this case we’re referring to Armenia’s. Perhaps "aware" or "conscientious" are synonymous to what I’m defining as politicized.
The person who is so attuned will then act in a way as to benefit our community instead of being oblivious. Politicized people/Armenia’s are much more productive in their chosen area of community participation–whatever that might be–political or otherwise. That’s because they’re better able to direct their efforts in the context of the day.
Yes–we must politicize everyone–without necessarily expecting political activity of them.