About the Greek Soul - And the European One

About fairness, love and justice

There is this fisherman from Samos Island. Over the weeks and months he pulled 4000 refugees from the sea. A fisherman of souls. A fisherman for life. A man who did what he felt he needed to do. 

Nine unemployed Greek women. Together they cook for refugees. For the stranded ones. Meals for 240.000 people over the time. Meals for the ones that have no home anymore. Other than themselves. Nine women who don't have money but who know where to return to in the evenings. Who think that they are still better off than the fleeing ones. 

And the mayors. The ones from villages and towns and even cities. The one that wrote welcome letters in Arabian language. "When you give hatred you will receive hatred. When you give fear you will receive fear. When you give love you will receive love." That was his comment. And the one that assembled the whole village around him and set up a refugee camp for 2000 in a gym within two hours. 

And of course the thousands of portions of food every day that volunteers provide for refugees. And of course articles in papers that call it a duty to help the helpless. And of course "we still are so much better off than they are". 

And of course no demonstrations to stop the flood, the incessant stream of foreigners coming into the country. And of course no burning refugee camps. No hatred. No allegations. No protests. Not even complaints that "they exploit us". No comments about the "strain on our own poor country". No discussion of "how we could stop all that". 

That is the Greek soul. The wide and open soul. The loving soul. The helpful soul. The soul that thinks of others and puts them first. The soul that doesn't think of itself as the vulnerable one. The soul that smiles at you and invites you into its home. 

And you, Europeans, what do you have to offer to those who help the helpless? You, Germans what do you contribute to a country that helps the homeless and is still not even able to maintain its own needs? What do you offer to the country that gets flooded with people in need? What do you offer to the fleeing ones? 

Pressure. To make them comply. 
Fire. To show them that they are nowhere and never safe. 
Polemics. To make them feel unwelcome in a rich and affluent world. 
Pegidia. To express your worries about foreign infiltration.
Law and order. To show them how the clock ticks. 

And you Mr Schäuble, what do you have to offer to the ones that help the helpless? 
Tax hikes. Pressure. Condescending words of superiority. Your party calls itself Christian. Do you remember the message from long ago?  Do you know what it means to be a Christian?  Do you believe in humanity? 

Think twice. All of you. 
Think of them. 
And help them. 
Just help them.


I am in Athens. In Greece! At the cradle. Where our culture started. Where the wars were fought that determined how the occident looked like over centuries. Where museums and ruins tell the stories of ancient splendour and power. And where people now worry about every single day, every single week to come. 

What a discrepancy. Here the powerful heritage that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. And there the worries and utter despair of a country that is facing economical disaster. 

And yet life is wonderful here. The climate is exceptional with warm days and mild nights that invite us to stroll the city and spend evenings in cafes outside on the trottoirs. People are friendly and inviting and full of humour and warmth. And the city is buzzing with vibrant life. Yes, it is noisy and chaotic and sometimes puzzling. And if you don't speak the language (like me) it is not always easy to understand first hand what is going on. But everything is interesting and everything arouses my curiosity. And everywhere are new discoveries to be made. 

Yes, I love Athens and I find it fascinating.