A view of Greece from the Outside - Commentaries and Opinions
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Saturday, February 2, 2013
Feeling of slight - a national syndrome?
the Greeks to "yes" on difficult issues generally requires a good
argument coupled with cajoling and schmoozing.The Greeks are susceptible to flattery and quick to be offended by a
So wrote an analyst from the US Embassy in Athens in June 2008 in a cable to Washington, published by Wikileaks.
All of us have gone through experiences where, in personal and/or professional life, we perceived slight, slight which an objective third-party observer would not have confirmed that it existed. When this becomes a more permanent condition, one is well advised to seek therapy. The therapist will probably think of ways how the person can improve his feeling of self-worth. He will probably try to explain to the person that feelings of slight have much to do with feelings of self-worth (or the absence thereof). However, the greatest challenge for the therapist will be to get the person to recognize and accept his problem in the first place.
What can be done when the feeling of slight is seemingly a national trait? Are there therapists for nations?
Yes, there are therapists for nations. They are called 'leaders' and their instrument is called 'leadership'. At the end of Jimmy Carter's Presidency, Americans seemed to have resigned themselves to being the losers of the world. After only a few years of Reagan, Americans were convinced that they were God's gift to the world.
An outside observer can't help but get the impression that the current Greek government has done quite a few things quite well in only six months. Latest predictions are that the economic turn-around might begin even this year. It may not be much of a turn-around but, at least, things may stop getting worse. One could actually make quite a story of that.
And what story are Greek politicians making? Well, they are acting like managers in a turn-around situation who report to the supervisory board. No enthusiasm, no emotions - just the facts, Ma'am.
A miracle may be happening next year and one is mentioning that just in passing? As though it was a footnote so something else?
Propaganda is a term with negative connotations, rightfully so when it builds on illusions and when it manipulates people in the wrong directions. But some form of lifting emotions seems to be called for, particularly when an entire nation seems to have lost its feeling of self-worth.
Two bricklayers were asked what they were doing. One said 'I am putting one brick on top of the other'. The other said 'I am building a cathedral!'
Putting one brick on top of the other, however expertly done, is not good enough. One also has to talk about the cathedral.