GiaSas! Hello! Just a short note and a happy greeting from Greece, a lovely country but with so many sad people!
At first, things look the same, but as you look deeper into everyday life, you can see the fear and uncertainty that envelope the Greek people.
One topic dominates all conversations: the economic situation and the state of the country. Older people worry about further cuts to their pensions, and young people wonder if they will ever get jobs in the near future or if they will have to move to another country—something that distresses their parents so very much. They all hate the fact that the Greek people no longer control Greece and that their fate is in the hands of the most powerful countries of the planet . . . I am so happy that my immediate family and friends are OK!
On a happier note, the sun shines every single day, and, believe me, that is where they get their energy and optimism. The sea is wonderful and fresh and free, the food amazing as ever, and the hospitality of the people beyond compare.
It amazes me in such a loving way how much they love to share, with so much joy, whatever they have! Fruits are plentiful right now: grapes, figs, peaches, all kinds of melons and watermelons. Yesterday, after visiting one of my cousins, I came home laden with figs and grapes. Remember: you have to take what they offer, or they get offended! Every time I visit a family member, I come home with something delicious. I need to remember to do the same when I go back to my life at home . . . to be more generous.
I love it when I come here for a visit. The Greek people teach me, over and over again, that the simple things in life are the most important—how to be hospitable and care for the Xeno (the stranger), the filoxenia, the love for the stranger that is so deep in the spirit and in the culture of the Greek people. They love to treat you to coffee or ouzaki. Wow! I have to come here more often to enjoy the little rituals that enrich my life and that I have missed so very much.
The message the Greek people give me, loud and clear, is that you don’t have to be rich to be generous—they give and they share and they are happy. I guess it’s true what Jesus said, “It’s better to give than to receive.”
And this is my message today: look around and see. There has to be someone in your circle of family and friends who could use a little loving attention. Make them happy, and you will be blessed.
I love you, each and every one!