How we learnt to live Without: The Greek Debt Crisis

The Greek debt crisis has taught us Greeks to live without. Without common sense and without logic. In need of money but without valuing it above everything else.

We watch the horrid news on TV every night announcing new taxes, new scams and new ways to make people give up everything they have. And for some reason no one twitches. As a Greek, you are at this point of acceptance. You are going to pay more and more and you are going to give up more and more. Or if you have no money to pay you will sit back and wait for the consequences. And then in that dark place you realize you either need to find peace or disappear. You need to continue living by sharing what you have with the ones you love.

There are those who say that you are a slave if you do not react. That you are dangerous if you continue paying higher taxes to compensate for those who cannot pay. Also that you contribute really nothing because you do not join the revolution against the system. The fault with this idea is that denying paying as a principle does not make you revolutionary. A few years ago it made you a part of a rotten system and reinforced the mentality that only idiots don’t cheat the system. It makes you imitate the behavior of the politician and the businessman. It makes you revengeful. At the end of the day whether you like it or not, you will still depend on those naive “idiots” who always got their hands dirty for you.

I watch my family in Greece watching the horrid evening news on the tv. They make bitter comments here and there but nothing appears to shock them really. I wonder whether they are hypnotized or merely have given up. They have paid and paid and paid at the point of not calculating anymore. Their tax return (a rare case nowadays in Greece when you have donated your life’s savings to the State under the name “Tax”) is a few hundreds euros less than it is supposed to be. No one twitches and no one claims. Who counts anymore? In the end they turn off the tv and they feel better already. And life goes on.

Being in a younger generation, I used to feel much more angry and bitter. When Skywalker was offered a job in Sweden I gave him immediately my blessing. Who wants to live without any social justice and any security? I felt disgusted.

Now I am feeling grateful for the things we Greeks still have. In many ways in the crisis we have lost and found each other.
“It must be frustrating for the Germans seeing all those Greeks still enjoying life”. A Greek friend who knows well the Athens cultural scene recently said “There are so many free theatrical performances and events you can enjoy until late the warm Athens evenings.” In every corner you still see big groups of friends enjoying the night and chatting away till dawn, sharing cheap wine and good company.

There are brave and noble souls out there that are neither tax evaders nor crooks. They have no Swiss bank accounts and would never commit fraud. As long as they have a roof over their heads and food on a plate they are not afraid and they refuse to give up. They are still kind to each other and civilized. Not because they have been taught this way by a just, organized or responsible Government but because they have chosen to.

They still have trust and faith in humanity when nobody gave them the right to.

And that’s true guts if you ask me.

(I want to believe in peaceful revolutions, call me a dreamer but I somehow have to)

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