07, 2009

Remarks of President Sargsyan at the meeting with the high school graduates of distinction and the winners of the Kangaroo math competition

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Dear children,
Young ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome you at the Presidential Palace. While ago, you have had the opportunity to tour the halls for official meetings and ceremonies and get familiar with some protocol intricacies. I hope it’s been an interesting experience for you.

You may remember that months ago I said that all those children who would distinguish themselves among their peers with their knowledge, who would become the winners or laureates of Olympiads, would be invited to the Presidential Palace, would shake hands with me and would publicly receive my gratitude for their success. I thank you for your achievements. I believe that you have been able to prove to your peers, to your parents and friends that thanks to your gift, talent, and aptitude you can solve issues, can be different from the others. It is really outstanding.

You see, our people, just like other peoples of the world, accumulate their centuries-long experiences in a brief counsel. I am sure many of you have heard from your parents “you must learn if you want to become someone”. The older ones among you have probably occasionally doubted the wisdom of this simple saying, however also have had the opportunities to see that it is true.

I am confident that today, all of us already do know that to study well and to have profound knowledge is a very important prerequisite for becoming a good citizen and a good person. I want you to hear it from me that you have advantage over your peers not only because of your deeper knowledge but also because you have other qualities as well. To stand out due to the better qualities means to be stronger, to be kinder, to be ready to face any challenge that the life may bring.

I am almost sure that many of you think that today I will speak about the problems that our society, our state and economy currently face and how you should participate in addressing these problems. However, I think that in a couple of years you will able to articulate these issues better than I. Today, I would like us to talk indirectly about those issues and ponder together upon what you already have and what lies in store for you.

God gave you talent and skill, our forefathers were able to preserve our identity, our country and our culture and that gene was passed on to us. By the way, I would like to mention that I don’t share the opinion that our forefathers had a great, powerful state, vast territories but those who came after them were not able to preserve that might. I am sure, senior schoolchildren already know that in our region and in the world in general there were more numerous nations and there were larger countries; however for this or that reason they didn’t make it to the 21st century and were left on the crossroads of history. We, thanks God, due to our talent and thanks to our forefathers and their self-sacrifice are living in the 21st century and I have no doubt that we will go on forever. Through these years your parents have been doing all they can so that you can realize your potential – they feed you, care for you and cherish you. For the last seventeen years our soldiers serving in the regular army have been protecting our borders with honor providing you with the opportunity to fully realize your dreams and aspirations. Through our people’s participation, through the taxes they pay you have been able to get education and many of you have already graduated from high schools. Some of you have already graduated with distinction, brilliantly; some of you are still in school and will achieve similar success. And our people expect much from you, they are proud with your achievements, they are happy for you and I am confident that you will become the commendable citizens of this country.

I expect you to be resolute and optimist. No serious task is accomplished without resolve or optimism.

What awaits you: for some of you the first phase of life has already been concluded. That phase was full of certainties. You were solving problems, getting right answers.

Now, you are probably entering the most interesting, the most robust and the most decisive phase of your life. I would call that phase the period of uncertainties.

Those of you who have already graduated from high schools know, the younger ones will learn it later, that many problems indeed have solutions, exact solutions. However, by this time you already must know that the right decision may not seem to be the best one at the time. You will be making choices not only among the right decisions but also among the best decisions because every decision comes with the price. I want every one of you to remember that not all means should be employed for getting solutions. You have probably heard of “the end justifies the means”. It is not true, because if you don’t choose your means carefully, very often you create even bigger problems. Time and again, those who are trying to get what they want at any price wear out their soul and mind as well as souls and minds of those around them. Remember, that the means must not be good for just that particular instant or for some period of time but must be verily good. You cannot serve good purpose by foul means.

I want you also to remember that in life you will encounter problems which don’t have solutions. But it mustn’t be an excuse for abandoning search for the solution. One must always look for solutions because a person’s life is vindicated by that very search for answers. There is always a chance that you will find the solution for a seemingly unsolvable problem. You just need to look for the answer in the places that have never been looked in before. I want you to get to any solution in high spirits, optimism and resolve.

I wish you great success, and I am confident that you will become, or already are, outstanding citizens of our country.

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