Some months ago, I was called to ask the Primeminister of Greece George Papandreou a question. I wanted to ask him to give me a reason to stay, but I asked him to give my friends, who left Greece, a reason to come back. Both questions, I keep asking myself again and again.
The Primeminister told me that it is a decision. Maybe not the answer, I expected at that point, an answer that disappointed me, but at one point understandable, and maybe even more every time I am taking the place to another European country, quite often during the last months.
Some weeks ago, Intelligence Squared Greece organized a discussion on «I am leaving: The dilemma of a generation».
It is not a question of place but a matter of mentality. Mentality is something that does not change in one night, it needs solid grounds, most of them build up through education. Greece needs a sustainable model. Europe needs one, as well and as the last news about the economic crisis show us. A model that is not given yet, need to be re-arranged, re-structured, maybe even created.
It is more about asking how we will change the social ground and start from scratch, being aware of it. By social ground, I mean things like e.g. education, formal or informal, building up collaborative structures inside and outside of a country, between countries, continents, fields. Building something useful and vision-driven. Does anybody hear the bell ringing?
As one of my friends living abroad says: «The point is not whether to stay or not, rather do I want to help or not? If someone can help by living abroad, that’s fair enough … but living abroad and choosing to close the eyes in front of this situation, I find it very selfish and individualistic and that’s an attitude that doesn’t remind me of the Greek culture, rather central, North European and North American.»
Actually, I really like to talk about what is going wrong in Greece. Fact is that if we look closer, we see things that are happening also in other countries more or less. We can name what is wrong in a general and/or a specific way, but we can work out also solutions. This is based on “values” given from ancient times: Logos, Ethos, Pathos, or logic, ethics/strategy, passion/empathy.
Walking the talk, not talking the walk.
The discussion is not about Greece but about where Europe is going, politically, economically, socially, culturally.
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