Doing it like the Greeks! 56



View Profile

The Greeks are doing it again – first they invented democracy, now they’re re-inventing and updating their precious gift. From the ashes of their basket case economy, they’re showing us a new way. A way of the future.

I’m not really referring to the politics of the whole situation, but more on how the ordinary Greek citizens have taken matters into their own hands in order to survive. There’s been an unprecedented coming together from all walks of life – lawyers offering their services free of charge to stop evictions, doctors running free clinics and utilising donated drugs, just about anyone and everyone helping with free soup kitchens, clothing, shelter – everything that it takes to survive in our world of 2015.

What we’re witnessing in Greece is a strong upswell of community spirit dominated by volunteering which most societies wouldn’t survive without, particularly theirs. This is the same empathy and concern that has been born in the past with wars and natural disasters. It’s the feeling that maybe should come naturally to all of us all the time. It’s a Zen thing.

And that brings me to us – we who may have feelings of uselessness and being ignored as we meander into retirement. The great unsung chorus of baby boomers. Maybe it’s a good time to join in and learn from those who are already giving freely of their time and talents. Maybe now is a good time to brush up on our compassion.

There are huge existing needs out there already but, I predict, there will be many more to come. I don’t think the Greek situation is a one-off. We’re all feeling the rising winds of change in many areas – technology, climate, work, wealth, housing and retirement to name a few. Let’s learn to accept change and look to others and see what we can possibly do for them. Let’s be a bit less complacent and walk out the front door with the purpose of making today a bit better for someone else.

Just like the Greeks are doing.

What do you think? should we be doing it more like the Greeks? What other societies are admirable? Tell us below.

If you’d like to write a blog for Starts at 60 – we’d love to hear your stories! See our guidelines here and submit your articles to us here.

David Edwards

David is a long-term traveller, blogger and baby-boomer with a healthy disregard for normal. He has not felt the need to settle anywhere for more than a year or two at a time which means he's having a roller coaster of a life. Fortunately, he's married to Tav – a Scottish Princess with good, solid Romany gypsy blood. It ain't over yet.

  1. Why not ask the ALP?!

    2 REPLY
    • The Greeks are perfect examples of two systems that don’t work: 1) people and companies not paying their fair taxes. 2) Austerity measures being thrust upon them stifled all growth. This LNP Government is practicing austerity and growth is slowing, unemployment is rising and the vulnerable are paying. A middle ground is best. People go on about deficits and are wrong. Menzies ran deficits virtually the whole term of his Government. His last deficit was twice as high as Swan’s last deficit.

    • Labor were smart enough to run one of the best economies in the OECD during the GFC. If the libs had been in charge, we would have had the troubles that America had, and is still struggling to recover from.

      1 REPLY
      • You neglected to mention that it was the multi billion dollar surplus left by the Howard government that alowed us to survive that gfc .if it hadnt been for that The labor party would have been screwed.

  2. David that is a very beautiful. Made me very proud of being human that maybe we are much much more than barbaric war hungry beings.

  3. Australia has been that way in ‘Disaster Mode’ since I came here 37 yrs ago. You cannot have a bush fire, flood etc without enormous generosity and help of all kinds being given by the population. The people in Western Australia are especially good at helping each other when needed.

  4. No other countries we can look and see what they do better but we should be our own country we are often told look at this country we are Australia this is most important

  5. Perhaps if ordinary Greek people had done the right thing over the years by paying their taxes, and abiding by the laws of their country, and not fudging their true state of affairs to the EU, they may not be in the situation they now find themselves in. Trying to compare Australia with Greece is a useless exercise. Australians have always helped one another out and I predict always will. No doubt there is a black economy here, but nothing like what happened in Greece.

  6. They are a perfect example of everybody trying to avoid taxes and then the country going downhill. Then all their neighbours tell them they need to practice austerity. The Greeks are showing how badly austerity measures work. What we need is people and companies including the rich to pay their fair taxes not the austerity and unfair policies of the Liberals.

    1 REPLY
    • Think of the Family’s in other country’s they pay with high Taxes and cuts to there income and very high GST. To help Gresse

  7. Unfortunately Rob, the Greeks are in hock to the EU…that is why they are having austerity measures imposed on them. They owe the EU trillions, which true to form they are trying to wriggle out of. Well good luck to them…I don,t think they will get away with it. Perhaps our lesson is to live within our means.As I understand our situation, we are spending more than we are making, and we all know where that leads!

    3 REPLY
    • Perhaps if Gina & her cronies were taxed at the appropriate rate & not allowd to bring in cheap labour from overseas Australia might start to recover her debts!

    • Well the Greek Governments practicing Austerity have been proven wrong in nearly every European country. No country can prosper with Austerity which is what Joe Hockey is practicing. Are you aware very few Governments of any persuasion have run anything but deficits, exactly 18 surpluses in 114 years.

    • Yes but look at how good labor had it when they took over from Howard, didn’t take them long to turn that one around. Got a few spare tonnes of roof stuffing if you are interested! How about a new lap top for every kid, can’t see them, nice big sheds, no air con though. Hello boat people, come on down, just don’t drown. Impressive!

  8. I think they should learn how to pay their debts like everyone else and stop pretending that a black market economy disguised as brotherly love will enable them to weasel out of it.

    7 REPLY
    • You obviously don’t speak from experience.Perhaps before you preach from your tower you should walk a mile in the shoes of those who’s way of life was destroyed by conditions beyond their control,as with the Greek people and as with a lot of Aussies.Be circumspect with your opinion,lest you be branded a TOSSER………

    • Go Micheal Sharp said wonderfully,must have been awful to lose your way God bless them all that suffer lose if security.equals peace of mind at time in life when you need it older age

    • Thanks for your thoughts Michael and Judy, but I am happy to stick with my opinion. It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds.

    • Unless you have lived in Greece or have relatives in Greece, I suggest you keep your ill informed thoughts to yourself. I have done both of the things I mentioned above. I feel terribly for my relatives suffering for the sins of the mismanagement of the government. The Greek people are doing it for themselves!!!

    • Totally agree ,a corrupt system for years Banks,Rich Families, And Govt controlled by certain Families. Greece is Stuffed, such a shame for working class people.

  9. I am so proud of my fellow Ausralians. After the LINDT seige. “Ride with me ” went viral. The Spirit in this Country is special, lets keep it going. Negativity is never acceptable. Well done fellow mates…

  10. Drene,”Ride with me” didn’t resonate with me…”we are still going to have coffee together”would have . My sympathies are with the Australian public. No need for negativity I agree, but let’s put the rights of the people of this country first.

  11. We soon will be I think. Just as politicians brought Greece to its knees and was the catalyst for this. So to are the Australian politicians.bringing Australia to its knees.

    The selfishness, greed and arrogance of politicians world wide is being looked at closely thanks to social media.

    Never before have so many people had an outlet to come to and to fight together as we have with social media. People in Australia have already started to form a bond on social media.

    1 REPLY
    • Margret I applaud you for the gift of after day the Libs bare face lies that all is well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *