ATHENS, GREECE SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT MEETS THE EYE
‘This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.’ – Plato, Greek Philosopher, Founder of the Academy in Athens
Athens Greece became one of my favorite places during a cruise around the Greek islands. (There are 6000 Greek island and islets. Only 227 are inhabited.) I came away with a new respect for the Greeks. Even though we only experienced a fleeting flavor of Athens Greece, I was favorably impressed by its history, influence on civilization, the culture and its delicious Mediterranean food.
‘It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.’ – Aristotle (384BC-324BC) Greek philosopher and scientist.
History was never my favorite subject at school. Consequently, I did not think that I would be much interested in the ancient structures such as the Parthenon that still stand tall, on top of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. It was as if I could feel the lingering energy of Solon and later Cleisthenes, were to lay the cornerstone for democracy. (A monarchy, (mon-archy) the people are ruled by one. An oligarchy or aristocracy (olig-archy, arist-ocracy) ruled by a few. Then democracy, (dem-ocracy), is supposed to be a system of government for the people by the people.
‘You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.’ – Aristotle
Athens Greece, played a major role in the evolutionary process of mankind, especially with their great philosophers, development with the alphabet and advances in democracy. What impressed me most about Athens Greece, was what I learned regarding their vital contributions throughout ancient history but I was also sincerely impressed by their current-day national pride.
‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ – Plato
I admit that I have not had a whole lot of interaction with Greek people. Apart from our recent visit to several islands, seeing some of the Greek highlights, my experience was limited to winning a cha-cha competition in Rhodesia, as a teenager, with my Greek friend Costa Makredes. Thereafter, Costa took me to Greek parties where I enjoyed traditional dancing in a circle with his friends and family, ‘Zorba-style’.
‘In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.’ – Aristotle
Before the dance competition, the only thing I knew about Greek people was they specialized in having ‘Greek Cafe’s’ in Rhodesia. Nick’s Cafe in Salisbury, was a favorite of all teenagers because it stayed open all night. Mamma Nick was a huge woman who kept order throughout the early hours of the morning. Now I wish that I had taken more time to learn more about Costa and his culture. I am sure my life would have been much richer for it. Sadly, Cost, like so many young Rhodesian men of a war-torn country, is no longer alive. This blog is in memory if you, Costa.