Confusing the Priorities


I have always wondered if this nation and its leaders of older and current times were well enough versed in the meaning of priorities i.e. in doing first things first and second ones second. Georgians entertain the proclivity of setting too high a value upon the things that are in no way worthy of our attention, and vice versa; we suffer a propensity of lowering the value of things that truly deserve our exertion. Meanwhile, mishandling of priorities is usually conducive to blunders that are almost impossible to atone for. It is said that geniuses are those who possess the levers for regulating those priorities, setting them neither too high nor too low. Do our political elite, especially the leaders of our people and their opponents, possess those levers?

One of the best examples of our inaptitude in the art of regulating priorities is Georgia’s stance in evaluating the debilitation, fall and disintegration of the soviet regime. It is exactly then that we overestimated our potential for independent national development and underestimated Russia’s power to hurt us in revenge for breaking away. That was the time when Georgia badly needed to know the ropes on which our priorities were hanging. We rebelled against the wicked giant, and when the oil was already on fire, we lost every chance to extinguish it. And the result is at hand – one third of our country’s historical territory is almost irreversibly gone. Consequently, Georgia has found itself stuck between Scylla and Charybdis, having no idea where the survival opportunity was buried. This is just one example of our crippled orientation when it comes to priorities. Should it make any sense, I could invite a couple more instances of our allergic attitude towards differentiating between issues of national magnitude that have to be strongly prioritized.

When our current Prime Minister was nominated and approved by the Georgian Parliament, I thought it expedient enough to run a laudatory article in GEORGIA TODAY about this utterly important event in the nation’s political life. For the good thing I believed I was doing, a number of vituperative comments were heaped on my poor head, like brownnosing, sucking up, hypocritical, unctuous, double-dealing, etc. I felt a little depressed then, but I never stopped believing that all I had written about our new chief executive was fair and totally compatible with our priorities at the time. I reread it before I embarked on writing this particular piece and I came to believe that I was right – all my accents were in the right place at the right time.

I can’t help recollecting my recent experience: that day, I happened to have been watching the evening news in company with a good friend of mine on the much spoken about recent skirmish in Parliament that ended in the PM swearing at one of his most passionate opponents. Now do me a favor and listen to how my friend commented on the incident: “I’ve never liked this man, but I just fell for him; he seems to be a character I never noticed and appreciated before”. Well, this was uttered a little facetiously, but as the saying goes, there must be a vestige of truth in every joke. Personally, I don’t really care if the Prime Minister of Georgia used rough language in the lawmakers’ palace but what I am definitely concerned about is the priorities that we align for handling by Parliament, or the administration or any other branch of government.

No doubt, that day in the Parliament of Georgia, the priorities were confused and mishandled by the players of the game, and all of them turned out losers.

Only the fourth government was a winner. The cameras caught the hot moment and they got the story, which they sold for quite a price, and kept replaying it myriad times in the days and nights that followed. And you can’t help it – we all need to make money, and stories like that are big money-makers. You see, mishandling of priorities has again brought a huge inconvenience to us all, except the hungry-for-a-story media who would never lose a chance like that.

Nugzar B. Ruhadze

27 December 2017 18:42