A country wracked by an unprecedented financial crisis. A generation experiencing a “war” that never in their wildest dreams had they imagined they would witness. An entire country taking a good, hard look in the mirror and wondering if what was staring back at them was an accurate reflection or a dreadful nightmare they would eventually wake up from.
Times of crisis, like an unwelcome illness, are met in different ways by different people. Sickness often brings out the worst in “weak” people and the best in “strong”. This crisis unveiled all our “weaknesses”, and together with it, a lot of “strengths”. Indeed. There were people who, frustrated and indignant, flooded the streets in protest. They leveled their resounding voices against the fear of poverty and their despair over past futile reactions. And then there were those whose simmering rage, not at this crisis or any particular reason per se, erupted violently and vandalized, knocked down and distorted and corrupted the noble cause that others were fighting for. And finally there were those, the majority at that, who, nonplussed and numb, pondered their responsibility in all this mess, cleared their thoughts and made a valiant effort to regroup.
While the world’s media zoomed in on the Greek Parliament and the frequent protests taking place in adjacent Syntagma Square, hundreds of thousands of Greeks went about their daily lives, heads held high, focused on those things that would keep them standing in the face of it all: their family, friends, strength, whatever they could do, and do it well.
In the countless statements made by experts and non- trenchantly predicting the country’s “imminent” bankruptcy and subsequent blacklisting from all European activity, the vast majority of my compatriots plotted their course hand in hand with that unique brand of optimism born of the Greek light, that is so inherent and inextricably linked to our culture. And while mass-circulation newspapers and magazines across Europe and the United States were busy wounding our “philotimo”, our national pride –a word untranslatable in any other language which expresses dignity, pride, reciprocity, the value of honor and its preservation- hundreds of thousands of Greeks were focusing on more important things-mind and soul- with perseverance and tenacity.
This spring Mykonos is fully ready, just like every other year, to welcome its unique visitors,not affected by any protests or reactions . Spotless, whitewashed, lively, optimistic, dazzling, luxurious, genuine, unique. And just like every year for decades now, it opens its welcoming embrace to the thousands of visitors from around the world who bathe in its light, stroll its cobblestone alleys, immerse themselves in its crystal-clear waters, taste its delectable treats, dance the nights away under starry skies, are mystified by its beauty. And when the first autumn breezes reach its shores, Mykonos will bid farewell to its last guests and embark upon its annual journey towards the next summer season. Because far from the thousands of media cameras, Mykonos welcomes each and every new day while aiming for a new chance at a better future. And awaiting you.