Τετάρτη, 25 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Meditations on Greece’s Crisis

By Constantine Michael*

In a country where catastrophic events flow endlessly the past five years, and where each calamity is followed by another, not only in terms of politics but also in terms of the downward spiral of the economy, people in Greece have to realize that our homeland is facing a crisis that is mainly moral. Unfortunately most of the young people refuse to realize the severity of the situation and despite facing unemployment and socialism, they have faith that miraculously their problems will be solved.

Whenever I have the opportunity, I spent my time observing the youth culture and its choices of entertainment. The truth is at least alarming. Every afternoon during the week, students fill the local cafes playing games, chatting over coffee –not about Greece’s current financial situation, - as if they were living either in denial to face reality or literally not caring at all that their parents were asphyxiating by being unable to repay serious debt coming from taking many reckless loans back in the 1990s.
In the evenings, instead of returning home, and trying to do their homework, or at least spend some quality time with their families, I found out that bars and clubs are overcrowded. Every time I met individuals of my age, I asked them their opinion of the current situation in Greece and how they cope with it. Most of the time answers were distressing. They are aware of the financial difficulties their families face, but simultaneously this do not prevent them from spending at least 20 euros every time they go out. The most common answer to my questions is: "I cannot do anything to change the current situation, politicians are too corrupted, so I am going to keep doing what I do best, avoiding any confrontation of the problem, and get out with friends.”

I am more than sad to realize that the future of Greece is in the hands of those people, who live in their own utopia and sincerely believe that the problems will be resolved on their own. The younger generation should be filled with dreams for their future, come up with fresh ideas to help their country, their home, and at least try for a better future. Instead, their weapon of choice is to idly sit and observe the awful reality, while their productive years pass by without accomplishing any essential goals. They have given up hope, they have given up on Greece, but most importantly they have given up on themselves.

I, on the other hand, have not. My internships in financial institutions taught me that there can be a way out of the crisis, if the people spent with moderation and certain measures were taken and followed. My volunteering in various community shelters showed me that there is still kindness and selflessness in our people as well as tremendous poverty and dehumanization.

That is why young people are in dire need of understanding that the whole world does not revolve around consuming. We need to learn the value of “moderation is best,” the value of knowledgeand of making a difference. Few young people have I met along the road, who love going to school, who love reading books, articles, journals, and newspapers because they have realized that they have to learn a lot about their past that will illuminate their future. Those understand how knowledge and offering help enrich the mind.

The solution lies in proper education and in teaching important virtues so that they can go out in society as productive and moral citizens. Through this crisis, we have to emerge stronger and smarter, not repeat mistakes of the past, but learn from them and face the things we are afraid the most. Then we will be on the winners’ side and not the losers'. For my part, I intend to study economics, so to learn and contribute to my society’s economic recovery.

* economist


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