« Home | Green Roofs and Greece - What Athens Should Be Fam... » | Cyprus and MIT: New Research onthe Environment in ... » | Waste Management in Greece » | Mediterranean Environment and Human Error »

Sunlight Alone Will Not Make One Happy

“The notion that people are happiest along the shores of the Mediterranean does not appear to be true,” - Kathimerini

That's the conclusion of a report released by Cambridge University into the happiness of the EU 15 countries. Greece ranks 13th, ahead of Portugal and Italy. Apparently, according to the report, the primary reason for the low levels of joy in the lives of the Greek is the lack of trust in their political institutions and leaders. Not surprising. It probably didn't require a research study to tell anyone that, a 15 minute conversation with a young person on the street will let you know that the young people don't trust the government, realize they face an environmental calamity, accept that their parents want the best for them as they had nothing only 30 years ago, and that no one is really sure how they feel about going further in the future.

At a recent Jazz concert in the center, I had a lengthy chat with a mate about the problems of Greek education and politics. He asserted, as I have heard from many of my Greek comrades, that the problem with Greece is that no one feels that they can get ahead. Politics are controlled by families, dynasties, which keep things mulling along as they have been for so long.

To boot, most of the Greek youths are trained, or have been trained in English universities, not Greek ones. Why? To be frank, no one has any faith in Greek universities it seems. These aren't my thoughts, I haven't studied in a Greek university. From what I have heard however, Students prefer to go to England because they can have better chances at finding work, perfect their English, and see another country for practically nothing.

I replied, to my wholly bemused friend, that he wasn't considering the broader implications of going abroad to do university. a) it belittles your own country's system - how can you stand up for your schools if the best and brightest won't stay to study? b) all that money you spend going out and buying supplies, clothes and what not is not going back to Greece, it's going to the British (they're mighty good at that actually), and c) -going back to the political - is there really anything real about the political dynasties. They happen, for sure, but who's fault is that? Stop electing people who you know are corrupt. Just don't do it. And take things into your own hands.
To all this he replied: "you simply don't understand how things are done here"
To which I replied: " no kidding "

And as for ranking Greece as one of the unhappiest places in Europe, I will say that I think people in Cambridge don’t understand what makes the Greeks happy. So, there will probably be another research project looking into the ways people should perceive happiness as… but what do I know? Not alot