DISCLAIMER: I am baptized Panagiotis in the Greek Orthodox Church since 1992, on the lovely island of Mytilini. I lived in Greece for nearly 5 years of my life, and have Greek family. I love Greece and always will.
There is much fun that can be made of Greece and the Greeks nowadays. Their government is a mess, and it was the people who elected the government. I couldn’t tell you what makes them tick, and I believe those who think they have the Greek people figured out are only fooling themselves. Heck, I don’t even know if the Greeks know what makes the Greeks tick! Greeks are prone to waves of emotion that can rival the waters off the Cape of South Africa. That can be either absolutely terrifying, or incredibly exhilarating.
I came across this story at the The Guardian web site today that captured the very best of the Greeks. It was about how Greeks on the island of Rhodes, witnessing the migrant boat tragedy, dropped everything, jumped in the water, using whatever means available, to save those they could. This doesn’t shock me one bit. Not even for a second. For me I just smiled and thought immediately, “That’s the Greeks.” Really. They’re wonderful that way. There’s a depth to them you don’t really see at first, but then if you get the chance to be with them over time you see something you’re not likely to encounter in many other places. One that helps you to understand why they’ve survived for so many centuries.
Btw, yes. I know they are not a perfect people. I know that in spades. Likely more than most. But as I wrote earlier, my experience with them – not their government, mind you! – is certainly more good than bad. If you’ve spent any time in Greece, you already know what I’m talking about (if you haven’t then WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU WAITING FOR???). If you know any Greeks well, the same. They’re the kind of folks that are hard to not love. 🙂