Greece is on the verge of a great future – don’t throw it away!

What is it that defines a successful country? The wellbeing of the citizens, or the nation’s riches? The two are not the same.

Wellbeing: feeling loved and valued, health, happiness, contributing to society –these are the things that matter, that make us human. These do not come with national wealth but with equality and relationships – how people value and treat each other.

In the war, everyone was ‘in it together’ and although times were hard, apart from the obvious war wounds, people were healthy, valued and fulfilled. Society became much more equal. If Greece chooses to adopt a true attitude of unity (not like Cameron’s phony ‘Big Society’) where everyone looks out for each other, where those with more help out those with less – because they matter as fellow human beings – then Greece will thrive!

The worry is that Greece is so keen to stay in the “Euro” club that they will give up their wellbeing to do so. They are already feeling un-valued, un-loved and betrayed. They are dealing with institutions, but institutions don’t have a soul and don’t care about people, so why is Greece surprised. But they don’t have to shackle themselves to the rich man’s yoke to live well.

So long as there is food on the table and friends to eat it with, so long as their whole society unites in a common cause, they will thrive. But if they choose to be victims of the wealthy, if their society chooses to take what they can as individuals then they will indeed suffer. The richer Greeks will be materially fine but the poor will hurt, health for all will worsen, there will be riots and unrest, and productivity will reduce too – the signs are already there.

Greece is at a crossroads, but it’s not the crossroads reported in the press. It is a crossroads of its citizen’s attitude to each other. They can lead the world in showing how to be successful without being serfs to the economic barons. I hope that they choose wisely.

2014-09-01-13.09.24

About Minimalist Christian

Phil Hemsley is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. He works for a multinational company in the power industry, has presented technical papers at international conferences and holds many patents. He has published two books, the most recent is "The Big Picture, an Honest Examination of God Science and Purpose". He has lived on both sides of the faith fence. He is married, with two daughters.
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8 Responses to Greece is on the verge of a great future – don’t throw it away!

  1. Great post, i agree so much with you. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. newtonfinn says:

    You present an interesting minimalist perspective of a society that begins to operate on Christian rather than capitalist principles. Obviously, a lot needs to be fleshed out here. To the extent that such a “conversion” can occur, it would be useful for Greece to ally itself more closely with Russia, not only economically but culturally/spiritually.

    Most in the Western world are unaware, due to continuing cold-war propaganda, that Russian society has deeply embraced the Orthodox Church, in which Putin himself is a highly visible participant. Far from the days of overtly atheist communism, Russia is becoming more and more Christian, while the EU countries grow more secular, and the one across the pond more satanic.

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    • A problem with looking at political alliances is that they offer grand scale solutions that imply impotence of the individual.

      The Eurozone solution has shown its hand as an oppressive regime and Russia is an oppressive regime, and elsewhere in the world ISIS is an oppressive regime. I suspect the US is no better than the Eurozone.But when Christ came, he didn’t attempt to topple the oppressive regime, but to change people from within. He taught how to live fulfilled and loving lives under all circumstances. It is an individual choice, but one that can only be made if the option is pointed out to us. Every Greek has the choice of how to respond to their circumstances – whatever the outcome. But as a nation they don’t have to choose serfdom.

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      • newtonfinn says:

        Disagree. Strongly disagree. Jesus’ Kingdom of God was a DIRECT political, social, and economic challenge to the Kingdom of Caesar, as a number of NT scholars have recently pointed out. To limit Jesus’ message to individual action is to castrate the fullness and power of the Gospel. That’s precisely why Rome wiped him out so quickly, although the church, soon in bed with Rome, reinterpreted the whole thing as some sort of personal salvation process. The Pope gets this and is not afraid to say it, although in a much more gentlemanly manner than I am doing here. That’s why he’s the most dangerous, and devoted-to-Jesus leader we have seen in Christianity in a long, long time. I fear for him, but he’s ready anytime to meet his Lord and Savior, as all of us should be who are willing to follow Him and face the beast.

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        • Well perhaps we will have to disagree. I think Jesus speaks to each individual and then expects them to respond, whether as politician, priest or man in the street – “what is the best way that I, with my skill set and opportunity, can love my neighbour as myself”

          I don’t think the present Pope is about toppling regimes, but about getting the individuals within them to act justly. He puts the facts clearly and says what needs to be done, but he doesn’t support any particular group. He can’t be put in a political pigeon hole as a result. I found the following encouraging; http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xd5s1

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          • newtonfinn says:

            Have you read the rather stunning book by Richard Horsley, Jesus and Empire? I’m re-reading it for the third time, and it is still rocking my once-individualist Christian world. The whole Jewish High Priest establishment, which Jesus took on both in prophetic denunciation and in civil disobedience (physical temple disturbance) WAS the Roman government as far as the Jews were concerned. Rome appointed the Priests and temple hierarchy and told them how they were to handle the more rebellious Jews. When push came to shove, these sold-out Jewish “religious leaders” went immediately to Pilot to put the strong-arm on any challenge to their “authority.” Just like they did with Jesus himself, who wouldn’t give Caiaphas even the dignity of a reply. The Emperor was worshiped as a deity, with statues and alters to his honor throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. He was called The Christ, The Son of God, The Savior of the world who brought the peace and salvation of civilization. Just think what it would mean, in this context, to claim that not the Emperor, backed by the splendor of Rome and the might of the legions, but rather a Galilean peasant preacher with a ragtag crew in tow was actually The Christ, The Son of God, the Savior of the world. And then for this upstart “King of the Jews” to reenact the Maccabean triumphal entry into Jerusalem and cleanse the temple of idolatry, as had once before been done and enshrined in Jewish memory. At that point, when Jesus went directly into the face of the Beast, the Beast that was bleeding the poor Galileans and the Jews in general to the point of near starvation by taxes and tributes and other official assessments of empire, Jesus was a dead man, and everyone knew it. No, there was much more going on here than trying to get individuals to act justly. When I finish this last reading of Horsley, I’ll amplify this some more. It’s truly an untold story in the church, untold for a reason we’d rather not know.

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            • It sounds an interesting book, but what you describe simply explains why the Jews so completely misunderstood his message and expected him to liberate them in the conventional sense? Surely the centrality is that he wasn’t just another liberator coming to overthrow the Romans, but was bringing in a completely different kingdom and approach. If he came to topple the government then his life and death was a failure. He came to bring life in abundance to each of us, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves – with the promise of eternal life. Isn’t that why the Jews rejected him? But Paul recognised the power of the true message, and it was not one that many of the oppressed people wanted – hence they tried to kill him….

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