Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • gahm ahghuh bahgahs eh gahm mahghuh - either the salt is missing or the shaker

    Endeavors remain incomplete because of inattentiveness or negligence. It is a great quality to be able to pay attention to details. It requires concentration of the mind to “get one’s ducks in line.” Intelligent work by which one can get something done the “first time” indicates good planning.

    Every human is endowed with mind and intelligence. The mind is the sixth sense that receives information from the senses and then stores it. The intelligence makes value judgments to determine whether the information is relevant (good or bad) for one’s life. The intelligence is the discriminating power of the person. An Armenian proverb stresses this point, ehssuh eench keedeh, noushuh eench eh - an ass doesn’t understand the value of an almond. When a fly When the intelligence loses control and the mind runs wild, the person is in deep trouble and life threatening danger.

    Good intelligence is respectable and often a rare thing as the Armenian proverb states,
    khelhkuh vohsgeh tahk eh, ahmen mahrtoun kuhloughkheen chee leehnoum, intelligence it like a golden crown that is not appropriate for the head of (every) man (or intelligence is like a golden crown that doesn’t fit on everyone head).

    Good intelligence is precious and rare. khehlogheen mehg, uhnkhehlkeen hahzahr ou mehg - the intelligent and well behaved are one(few), but the unintelligent are a thousand and one (or for every intelligent man, there are one thousand and one unintelligent (or dunces).

    Without good intelligence or discriminating power to determine what is true and what is not true, one never can achieve any significant goal in life. For example, an Armenian proverb says, an ass went forty times to Jerusalem, but it is still an ass - ehsuh kahrahsoun ahnkam Yehrousaghehm eh kuhnatzehl, paiytz (ehli) ehs eh muhnatzehl.

    One mark of an intelligent man is that he avoids the close company of foolish or ignorant men. An Armenian proverb says, yehgheer keedounee kehree, mee leehneer ahnkehdeen seerehlee - better an intelligent man’s slave, than the sweetheart of an ignorant man.

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  • Ahganchehn mehgehn guh mudneh mouessehn gehleh

    There was and there wasn’t a merchant who had a milling shop. He ground wheat and other grains into flour and sold them everyday to his customers. His name was Mardiros.

    Mardiros was fond of attending church on Sundays. He would light one candle for each of his deceased grandmother and grandfather, one for his sick mother and father and one for everyone else that he cared for and loved. He enjoyed hearing the Der Hayr’s (priest’s) sermon. When Mardiros’s son became sixteen, he encouraged the boy to accompany him on his Sunday ritual of lighting the many candles and especially hearing the sermon as well as the liturgy.

    One Sunday the Der Hayr gave a spirited sermon on charity and kindness. He emphasized the importance of doing good deeds, never hurting anyone’s feelings nor harm or harshly treat people or animals. He said that charity should never be looked upon as a loss, but a gain of God’s attention and surely His grace. Good deeds are never forgotten by God Almighty. The Bible teaches that one should give what is asked of you and even more than what is required. The Der Hayr read, “I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you accepted me in your house. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.” (Matthew 25: 34-36)

    The Der Hayr ended the sermon with his most impassioned statement, “Make God your highest priority, and He will take care of all your needs.” Amen.

    The young boy was so impressed with the Der Hayr’s words. They lingered in his mind. He felt inspired to put them into action. When he opened his father’s grain mill shop the next day and set up the sacks of fresh ground flour for sale outside the entrance of the shop, a stray cow meandered close to the new grain bags and started to eat some of the course ground flour. The boy remembered the Der Hayr’s words. He thought, “I should get a stick and chase the cow away. But, the poor creature needs to eat just like we humans do. After all, she is hungry and needs to eat something to stay alive. She won’t eat much. Just what she needs and she’ll leave. Just then, his father came and saw the cow eating from one of the open sacks. He began to shout and chased the cow away.

    “Why didn’t you chase that old cow away, boy? said the father.

    “I wanted to, but I remembered the sermon of the Der Hayr,” said the boy.

    “What do you mean by that?”

    “Well, I listened to his sermon on Sunday. He said we should always be kind and freely give in charity to everyone and even to animals. He said God is pleased by charity.”

    “Have you gone crazy, boy? I have been going to church every Sunday for forty years. I light candles for my loved one and listen to the sermon. But, I never remember anything because the Der Hayr’s words go in one ear and out the other. If I remember his words, I would have gone bankrupt many years ago. From now on you do like me. Just let his words go in one ear and out the other and you’ll be able to take over my business and make money for the family.”

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  • Meg piedin (pronounce pie like the pie you eat) guh zarneh, meghuh muhghin

    This proverb is used to show how much two persons differ in their opinions and how far apart they are from agreeing. One person meanders in their thoughts (hits the piece of wood) and the other hits the nail on the head.

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