Recently had a conversation with a journalist about the socio-economics of Greece and Europe in general. The discussion was «heated», as expected as the policies of recent years and governments have led Greeks to humiliation, impoverishment and immigration.
One of my arguments in the debate was the reduction of the life expectancy of Greeks by 5 years. This information was given to me «confidentially» last year by my friends, doctors and pharmacists, who are very active and knowledgeable, not only in their field but also in general policies and situations. In fact, there are articles on the web that reveal that countries who happened to «cooperate» with IMF, had a reduction in their life expectancy by 6-7 years.
Countries like Argentina had much larger numbers, i.e., 5 years for each year of staying in austerity. So, the statistics are there and the information is fully available to the public who is looking to learn from the alternative news, but not from the big media. And I say this from my own experience since I have worked as a journalist in Greece and abroad.
The journalist, therefore, argued that the information about life expectancy could not be true, since he had not aware of it and in any case, what are a few thousand dead Greeks in comparison to the «magnitude of change» brought by the «Greek drama» in Europe in general. And at this point, I lost it. Not because I didn’t hear this before, but precisely because I did and several times, if I may say.
We cannot sacrifice thousands of people, let alone native populations, on the altar of change. There is no political approach that supports this view, at least none of the refined ones. This is the logic of an executioner and not someone who fights for a positive and optimistic outcome.
So, our question is: What is the cost of the «change» that we are ready to tolerate as a country and as citizens of a democratic mentality, that ultimately illuminated and gave birth to Western culture?
As a teacher of alternative therapies, positive change is a goal I constantly strive for, not only for myself but also as a way of life for friends and acquaintances and of course for all those who seek to try the healing method I encourage. But I realize that change is not always an easy or desirable process. Oh yes… desirable!!!
Lessons of Life
I wrote an article on the «Lessons of life» which essentially referred to the approach of man and the way he chooses to learn his lessons. Specifically, I referred, to joy, pain, observation and wisdom as tools of change. Also that he learns through personal experience and the experience of other people.
Learning through Love & Pain
To learn any lesson, let’s say about love, we could learn a lot about it, through joy. This means that we love and are loved. Through that experience, we could learn all that we need to know, about love.
But, if we have the belief that «No pain, no gain», we will learn about love only through pain. That is, we would love and not be loved or vise versa. I will let you imagine the scenarios.
Western culture praises pain, which holds a lion’s share in life lessons. It praises pain through «lovesick» songs that make up 99% of all songs. Comedies don’t easily win Oscars, countless novels without «happy endings» receive literary awards while «others», those with «happy endings», are popular but «light reading». There are dozens of other examples that I don’t need to point out to.
Learning through Observation
If we wanted to learn through observation, we would learn by observing others, as they love or not. If, when observing others, we focused on the lesson itself, instead relishing on the tragedy and the opportunity to criticize, we would learn much more. As such, we would learn not only by observing our own negative experiences, but also from what others go through, saving plenty of time and gaining free and precious knowledge.
Western culture relies heavily on personal experience as a means of learning, to the point where it almost completely ignores learning through the experience of others. Therefore, it «refuses» to learn from the wisdom we have historically gained as a human race.
Learning through Wisdom
And here we come to the fourth and final learning tool, that of wisdom. Ours and the wisdom of others. By overcoming our soul challenges and after we have reigned-in our demons, we essentially allow ourselves to learn from our wisdom and that of other people’s history.
We become less selfish and this allows us to «see», «learn» and «assimilate» necessary lessons through the observation of other people’s experiences, whether this is a movie, a book, a discussion, an image, or anything else.
Well, aren’t we doing this now? Yes, we do, in theory, but very superficially and certainly not to the extent that would make our lessons «easy».
Knowledge & Choices
When we have left behind the need to focus on our wounds, meaning we’ve healed enough, then we allow ourselves to learn holistically. That is, to reduce the intensity of the lessons and expand our choices. This allows us to choose much easier ways to learn, like through the experiences of others and of course to learn quickly and painlessly (joy, observation, wisdom).
It’s not necessary to have a personal opinion about everything, since we know that history repeats itself. When we ignore history, we are doomed to repeat it, but always through «harder and harder» lessons. When we allow ourselves to learn our lessons in an easier and milder way, we avoid harsh solutions and we accept and promote more benevolent and democratic choices and approaches.
Perception & Awareness
Everything is a matter of perception. When we have increased perception and therefore awareness, not only will we entertain a more harmonious and balanced approach to learning and acting but also consider this the only logical and desirable path.
We can only do this once we’ve calmed our ego enough, therefore we have stopped allowing it to feed on the fear and intensity of our emotions. That’s when peace and true optimism arrive and leads us to conscious and targeted actions that respond and endure over time.
On the contrary, when our soul is still full of the oppressed wounds of the past, we accept and support extreme «solutions«. This approach to «necessary but drastic» change generally demonstrates blocks to positive expression such as a lack of forgiveness of self and others, self-respect, kindness and evolution.
When we have NOT forgiven ourselves, for moments when we feel that we didn’t live up to the circumstances for various reasons or have not forgiven others for behaviors we consider to be wrong, excessive, or unfair, we create various defense mechanisms. These end up creating «harsh to inhuman» behaviors when looking for solutions. In essence, we refuse to show the kindness that we feel we’ve been deprived of.
The belief that things can change and evolve in a democratic, smooth and harmonious way is purely a matter of a dignified soul full of understanding, tolerance, care and justice, which bows above the problem and takes care of it until it is solved.
If we set this as a goal, we will accept only those things that allow democratic solutions for Greece and Europe. Between a Europe that would kill for change and a democratic Greece that shines a light in order to correct, the choice is not difficult. After all, democracy and culture are part of our heritage and we can only preserve them with the choices we make.
Teacher & Consultant of Alternative Therapies
Founder of GrecoDow® Educational Systems