I had initially in mind to write about Sea and Jules Verne books in this week’s post but then thinking of Greece, my country and how difficult moments we experience i decided of having this week’s post on Greek Virtues. Honor and Pride go hand in hand with the Greeks that’s for sure, Ancient Greek Warriors like Miltiades, Leonidas, have shown that and for this exact Honor we all the Greeks of the 21st century fight for.Political and Social unrest bring a lot of turmoil to any Greek who seems to ne enclosed in a sea monster as the crew of the “Nautilus” with Captain Nemo on board. Who can forsee the Odyssey that will take place for the years to come for the Greeks?
I know that Greeks Strive, that’s another virtue of theirs. Strive means “agónizomai: to contend for a prize, struggle” The original word comes from agon; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something) fight, labor fervently, strive.
Jules Verne describes it in the best way in Part 2, Chapter 8 :The Bay of Vigo, in his book “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” with the presence of valiant men’s portraits in Nautilus.
“Just then my eye was caught by some etchings hanging on the wall, which I hadn’t noticed during my first visit. They were portraits of great men of history who had spent their lives in perpetual devotion to a great human ideal: Thaddeus Kosciusko, the hero whose dying words had been Finis Poloniae; Markos Botzaris, for modern Greece the reincarnation of Sparta’s King Leonidas;”
Greeks always sought for personal freedom and respect as the Greek word Philotimo demands. Philotimo involves personal pride, dignity, courage, duty, sacrifice – even one’s life – and above all demands respect and deep personal freedom. Philotimo is not something that is taught a Greek; it is inbred. I do understand that being away from Greece in Europe or America is diffiuclt to get the picture of how the Greeks are wounded and desperately seeking for their Respect and Pride while being on board of a vessel that sails to the unknown. Nevertheless, life goes on and optimism is the only answer to what we the Greeks are through. Many friends of mine co-writers or teachers or even my senior students have chosen to turn off their Tvs and start reading books that can help them to uplift their spirits and think of tomorrow while feeling blessed for what they can enjoy today!
Till next Friday’s Rock Post, i chose a quote of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
‘I think that if a man does not guard his heart well, he will forget and neglect everything he has heard, and thus the enemy, finding room in him, will overthrow him. It is like a lamp filled with oil and lit; if you forget to replenish the oil, gradually it goes out an eventually darkness will prevail.” Abba Orsisius.