What The Greek And Cypriot Crisis Taught Me

Migrating from my country due to an economic recession, didn’t necessarily mean I escaped it and that I wouldn’t face the exact same crisis all over again. I left Greece for Cyprus of all places. Having lived in Greece for all my life and now living in Cyprus for the last 2 years, I have a few things to say. Mainly, that crisis is nothing like they tell you.

image - Flickr / PIAZZA del POPOLO
image – Flickr / PIAZZA del POPOLO

Crisis does not make you a better person. Solidarity, compassion, kindness and love are all virtues you gain after facing positive experiences. What crisis mainly teaches you is that there is absolutely nothing in the world you wouldn’t do in order not to suffer again. And then you do it.  

A crisis automatically reveals your Big Bad Enemy, the one and only responsible for this chaos, because such a huge event can’t have nothing less than a huge cause. So it has to be The Big Bad Wolf who took away your money, your future, your schools, your happiness, your life. He has to be the strongest, most fearful, ruthless and bloodthirsty beast humanity has ever known. In our case, Angela Merkel.

Which brings us to fairy tales. Crisis makes you love fairy tales and especially storytellers. There is not a single day that passes without a storyteller trying to catch your attention with horrible creatures, successful lands and inner dragons and all that, just to win a place in people’s hearts which is the only battlefield left to be conquered because the minds are absent. Scientific research I recently conducted showed that brain function and logic is inversely proportional to economic recession.

Nothing absolutely nothing said or written by anyone can’t be taken back the very next minute. Money, jobs, education, prosperity, a future, are just empty words anyone can promise as often as they like because nothing they say during a crisis matters any more. Anyone, especially politicians and the media, can claim anything. You could also call it the Big Mouth Olympics.  

image - Flickr / apasp
image – Flickr / apasp

Positive thinking becomes the most popular national sport. You may have no job, no income, no pension, no health insurance, no future and even no house or food but the majority of people, instead of turning the world upside down in order to change things or as old Greeks used to say, instead of ‘’squeezing the stone’’, they prefer to stay calm and wait with the belief that things will become as they were and even better. Aka, deus ex machina. Actually, money ex machina.

When most people think about their lives after the crisis they really don’t think they will be a lot different than before. Actually, the majority believes it might even be better. They think crisis is just a pause and when real life starts again, just like karma, the universe will restore all evil by rewarding us for our troubles with more cars, branded clothing, office jobs and lots of smiling bankers offering ‘’instant cash with no paper’’. Yes, we Greeks love Nemesis and mythology.

During a crisis, fear can scare everyday people to death, but it also reveals the solid and stable beliefs, attitude and actions of all politicians. When the ship is fighting storms and huge waves, the captains will keep on fighting each other on who will be the one to hold the wheel.  The people might be drowning, the ship might be sinking but the captains will never give up fighting for the top. Until then, even knee deep in the water,  they all dress, eat, give orders and live like true fearless captains, the last to abandon the ship.

The safest way to predict an upcoming crisis is to interpret the current human values. Ask the people around you a few simple questions and you will know. What kind of people do they find virtuous? Who they think deserves prestige and what cultured people are like? If you don’t hear the words education, kindness, integrity, ethics or it all comes down to money then start packing. It’s coming to get you too. TC mark

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    […] to Cyprus just in time to catch the economic crisis there, contributes a listicle-format article, “What The Greek And Cypriot Crisis Taught Me”. TLDR? When things start seeming ethically sketchy across your society, get ready to […]

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