I want to talk about my country. And my people. Or possibly rant. Most of us are not hungry, most of use don’t have a huge economical problem. Most of us can live nicely. Most of us are those who shout and rage though.
Sure, there are people who lost their jobs (I’m unemployed; I don’t like it because I can’t give and because I have no income). When I did work I saved money so no! I do not starve. Granted I live with parents. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have been able to survive. So I live with my family. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
However, things are not as bad as we make them to be. There aren’t homeless people in every block in every town. Yes, big cities have it bad, but life in towns and villages is not that bad. We don’t starve, we’re not hungry, we have everything we need.
Unfortunately, we never tried to see what brought us though. For twenty years people took loans to go on vacations, used credit cards to buy materials they didn’t need. Mercedes jeeps were bought by the dozens, each household had two or three cars, twelve year olds bought jeans that cost 120E, have their mobiles (with internet connection). Nightly out means return home after 06.00, after drinking and eating as if it’s the last time you’ll drink and eat. And repeat, for many years.
We have a saying in Greece; «stretch your legs as far as your quilt is» (it loses some of its prestige when translated). Needless to say it, we didn’t follow through. Why? I think it was because of the easiness of spending money that was borrowed and media.
Media are so very much responsible for today’s condition. Since the mid 1990s numerous tv shows presented in Greek TV station showing the guileless, naive us how celebrities lived, what they bought, where they were going in the summer, in the winter, how many houses they had, how many clothes they had… which, personal opinion, they shouldn’t have had in the first place. Greek show business is not like the American one and still money was given away like paper towels. And everyone wanted to have a second place by the sea, in an island or two, and have the luxury to go skiing every weekend.
Well, some things simply cannot happen! And that’s what we pay today.
However, besides those who have actual problems, most of those complaining are those who are overcommitted to stop paying 300 euros monthly for their mobile phones, or go to the hairdresser every Saturday.
My thoughts are for those, who like me, have no job and a family. But first we should change bad outlook/attitude of years and attempt to live with what we have.
What to read:
Beryl Bainbridge’s An Awfully Big Adventure (1989)
So yes. Do a good thing… it’s not as easy as it sounds really. We don’t get up in the morning thinking of ways to hurt the people around us (well, most of us) and still, despite feeling you need to offer, you want to give and possibly make someone laugh you eventually realize there aren’t many opportunities.
Why? Because people have alienated themselves so much that they don’t even want to be helped. It’s scary, but people have stopped to ask for help. Their needs come second to their pride. And they even manage to make you feel guilty for offering to help…
However the world needs it, I need it, you need it, everyone needs help (even when we’re not ready to admit or ask or even accept it). A smile, a laugh, a hand reaching out to give, a heart willing to share are making life precious.
In my book, as long as it is interest/caring and not pity nothing fences again pride.
So to make a long story short, this weekend my brother’s family was in a kind of problem. Now, I’m not notoriously famous for being patient with kids or maybe that’s just my opinion because everyone else has commented I should have become a teacher (no, no, no, nope). However my brother and sister-in-law were in need for someone to take care of them. Or they would take them with them in their work.
I volunteered. They didn’t ask. I told them it was fine. I did nothing else the whole weekend but taking care of a seven year old girl, and two boys of five and three year old.
I wasn’t thanked in the end. It didn’t matter. Their faces were happy and I felt great.
And it wasn’t slavery either. I love those kids. They love me too. It’s just that sometimes routine and every day life make us forget it.
So, take a look around you and offer your help, never your pity. No one needs that but everyone will accept your help.
What to read:
Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity (1939)