Today I came across this article on the Newtown shootings, and I got stuck in one particular paragraph that seemed to bear a transcendental meaning way beyond geographical, cultural, or issue boundaries.
“Historians have documented a long decline in violence as societies have adopted the ideals and qualities that bring harmony in relationships. This does not mean simply being nice. It requires a commitment to seeking justice when someone has been wronged, being contrite when we have done wrong, and offering forgiveness to those who admit their wrongs.”
In Greece the rise in violence and hate stem from the flip side of these virtues: refusal to embrace ideals of harmony, lack of justice where millions have been wronged and a handful of smart, powerful individuals continue to prosper at their expense. It means that no one ever stepped up to admit they have done wrong and ask for forgiveness and offer to rectify.
They will probably all die before they do that. Catharsis however comes not only by admission of guilt, but also by what goes down in history and seals these people’s record of deeds, rights and wrongs. Nothing escapes the neutral eye of history-telling as it becomes more and more disengaged with time.
Whatever happens, we will see how the values of humanitarianism deeply engraved in the Greek DNA become salient, how people can move ahead from the space of denial, depression and hate where they are currently trapped, to a place where they can establish visual contact with a better future.