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Did a culture of insatiable greed turn an entire generation into crooks?


Ilias Sourdis asks whether or not a lack of values, family love and a taught respect has created a generation of liars and cheats…

(Source: Neos Kosmos – 16 Aug 2012)


Many of my generation were born long before electricity had reached our rural areas and started our lives with many beautiful human values such as respect for self and for others, love and pride for family, religion and country. We were taught to live within our means. Very good values to build a truly better world to live in.
Our forefathers were living within their means and they never thought of going into the black hole of borrowing to have comfortable lives and let others pay their bills. They delivered to us economies debt-free or with minimal debts.
We continued life’s journey with very good foundations built on the values of our fathers and grandfathers and though life is not a stroll in the park for anyone, like previous generations before us, we faced adversities, global disputes, regional conflicts, political turmoil and financial problems.
As we advanced and started entering maturity in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s; we took over the steering wheel, changed direction and abandoned our strong human values given to us by our forefathers. Instead, we drove the global economies to phenomenal disasters and together with any existing good values: we threw them into the rubbish bin of history.
Pausing to take inventory and evaluate where we stand today, we can see the following terrifying results; bankrupt economies in most societies of the world; tattered human values; severely damaged environment; unbridled and debilitating unemployment; rapidly depleting natural resources; a deteriorating quality of life; hate and intimidation by stronger nations towards weaker ones by demanding compliance to their wishes. Worst of all is our lack of courage to admit our mistakes and start imposing corrective measures.
In light of such scary existential realities, how can we believe that:
a ) More borrowing is the remedy to heavily indebted economies?
b) The internet, Facebook and Twitter are appropriate tools to acquire human values?
c) Developing more destructive pesticides, chemical fertilizers and building more industries will repair our badly damaged environment?
d) Investment of large budgets for the improvement of technology and the creation of more efficient robots to reduce labor cost are the antidote for ever increasing unemployment?
e) The depleted natural resources can be protected by massive explorations, development and production of minerals?
f) That quality of life will improve with industrialized food products and chemically produced agricultural products flooded with chemical preservatives?
g) Restoring harmonious and peaceful relations among nations can be achieved with the use of more threats and isolation?
Yet the most scandalous logic of our generation is the shameless outlay of multimillion dollar bonuses to managers of multinational corporations and wall street executives, plus the hundreds of millions dollars given to incompetent banking officers who are partly responsible for bringing the present financial mess on our planet. It gives the impression of thieves who steal and divide the loot among themselves, while whole societies are financially tortured.
Lastly, we cannot have friendly and harmonious relations among societies when strong nations strive to oppress weaker nations by using ugly propaganda to demonise a society with intent to create havoc and prepare the ground for eventual physical attacks.
Obviously I am not dreaming of a faultless, perfect world because we are not immune to human errors. All the above are the end result of our present and past errors which certainly we cannot erase, but I am certain that we can draw the lines and re-write our future.
Logic and common sense tell us that bankruptcy occurs due to bad choices. When a business runs out of resources, an owner must make amends and forgo luxuries and a comfortable life.
Based on what logic do financial experts prescribe more borrowings as a remedy for bankrupt economies? Today we cannot service the existing smaller debt, how in the world will we service larger debt tomorrow? If that remedy is so good, why do we allow business establishments to go bankrupt and continue to lend them more money to keep operating? Is that not insolvency?
Undoubtedly this is wrong logic and contrary to what we were taught to believe.
We have never asked our children and grandchildren if they are willing to pay for our luxuries and we must be ashamed of delivering to them a country with huge debts, massive unemployment and severely damaged human values.
Bad as it may look, the entire mess is a creation of our generation. It can be attributed to our errors and associated with our incompetence, mismanagement and lack of vision. It is us, who must start changing course, reunite with logic to correct our mistakes and repair some of the damages.
As this generation is approaching the exit from this life, before passing the torch to the next generation, let us be reminded of the words dignity, pride, integrity and responsibility. Let us use our wisdom and maturity to apologize to the next generation and provide some genuine solutions to the problems we created. It is imperative that we start now to right the wrongs and salvage ourselves from the risk of history judging us “The Generation of Crooks”.
We fully deserve that title because we were given a beautiful world with debt free societies, rich in human values, a clean environment and huge reserves of natural resources. In record time we will be turning over to the next generation a total wreck
Locked doors have their own key to be unlocked. Each problem also has its own solution and we must look for it.

It was our generation who initiated the New World Order, which despite the relentless efforts to propagate it, is leaning towards failure simply because culture, traditions and civilizations are not imposed by few, but adopted by the free will of the masses.
While the challenge is still in front of us, let’s use every effort to grab this opportunity to make amends and try to fulfil even part of our original dream by contributing to a better world for our children to live in.

Old family photo from Cyprus

* Ilias Sourdis is a freelance journalist who is also a Greek expatriate and businessman. He has lived outside Greece since 1976, with most of his experience in Asia, and with short travels and stays in other parts of the world too.

Source: http://neoskosmos.com/news/en/did-a-culture-of-insatiable-greed-turn-us-into-crooks

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