For the First Time
For the first time in my short 21 year life I feel ashamed of being Greek. For the first time I wish I was not Greek. For the first time I feel true, honest anger and disgust.
In case you want the point of view of a young Greek then you are very fortunate. Here it is.
In one month I will have my 21 birthday. Since I can remember my parents told me that I should leave Greece the first chance I get. They did everything in their power to prepare me and when the time came I left.
There is a saying in Greece. “Η Ελλάδα τρώει τα παιδιά της”. Loosely translated: “Greece eats her children”. What does that mean? You might ask. It means that Greece destroys the Greeks. Basically in my case, as my parents warned, if you are born Greek then you are already burdened. You are already destined to live a hard life. I was born in 1994. I was seven years old when Greece entered the eurozone. I had no say in it. I had no choice. I was already destined to suffer.
I understand that this article must seem very pessimistic and defeatist. No need to worry I’m not finished yet.
What I would like to ask all the narrow minded idiots that made decisions well before my time is if they though of me. If they thought about others like me. Why should we suffer for the mistakes of our fathers? What is their argument? Their defence?
Do they suggest that all the children of the world that don’t have access to food, clean water or a roof over their heads had any choice? Any chance in life? Is it their fault?
What’s even worse is that the politicians of today are not phased in any way. I am sorry but I fail to believe that nothing can be done. There are countless… countless organisations and people that give blood, sweat and tears to make this idiotic planet a better place. Countless acts of kindness and compassion take place every day. Are all these people naive? Are they really that stupid?
I am sorry but I do not think they are. There is a true humanitarian crisis in Greece. People are suffering and they will keep suffering. The reason I am angry is not Tsipras or Merkel or Hollande or whomever. The reason I am angry is that they believe that me and others like me are stupid. Excuse me ladies and gentlemen but we are not stupid. Do they realise what is going on around the world? Do they care?
Before you judge me and mistake me for a stupid hippie who doesn’t understand the world… stop. Think again. My problem is that I understand what is going on.
I’ve wanted to start this blog for a long time but I didn’t have the chance to start it until recently. Unfortunately, I started right when the Greferendum was announced. This was not the start I imagined but I am glad. I come from a family of journalists and I want to carry on that tradition. Hence, the recent developments have not phased me on a journalistic level. However, they have phased me on a personal level.
For this exact reason I am writing this post. Just to clarify and explain my position.
This world has been stained by the bad decisions of our predecessors. They are gone. They have destroyed all they could. We are left to clean up the mess.
Greece has suffered greatly. The world has suffered greatly. This will not end.
I have one last thing to say. A message to all those that want to oppress. To all the unjust. The world is not divided by borders. Not by religion. Not by wealth. It is divided between the good and the evil. Both exist. Must exist. All of us that want to do good in this world are not divided and will never be.
For the first time I am ashamed I am Greek and I am thankful. This is the great gift Greece gave me. It gave me freedom. Freedom to fight for my right to live in this world. The freedom that only true struggle can bring. Greece wants us to fight to our last breath. Not for borders or conquest but for the idea that all of us are only limited by ourselves. She is our mother. And as any good mother should do she lets us go. She will force us to go. Chase our dreams. Become great. Live free and with conviction.
Whatever happens. Wherever I go. Greece will be with me and I will always yearn for her warm embrace.
By Constantinos Virvilis.