A different crisis


I travelled from the Netherlands, where I currently live, back to my hometown, a big city in the north of Greece called Thessaloniki, to spend the summer. A few days ago I decided to meet a friend downtown. Since my place is a bit detached from the city center I hadn’t been downtown for a long time. On my way to one of my favorite coffee places, located right in the center’s heart, there was a man sitting on the pavement. He had semi-long white hair, brown eyes, dirty clothes, surrounded by his belongings, which were nothing more than a small suitcase and a woolen blanket. He was neither begging for money nor asking for food. He was just sitting there, smiling, but you could clearly see despair in his eyes.

People, who were shopping and passing by, were looking at him uncaringly. Isn’t it disappointing that although we live in the same city we don’t care for the people who need our help? We stop; we see them and just bypass them. Sometimes, even if we have enough food or money we are not willing to share.

Homeless people in Greece increase rapidly day by day, and for that, the economic crisis is responsible. But for our indifference and the humanitarian crisis that has taken over, not only the city but also the whole country, we should simply blame ourselves. We have turned off our humanity and isolated ourselves in our own digital world, in our own gold cages, which leave no space for kindness and sympathy. But, we don’t even dare to think that it could be one of us next time.

After a few hours, the man had fallen asleep, right there on the marbles, holding his blanket tight. The next day he wasn’t there. His small suitcase was also missing. Probably the police had kicked him out or there are still people who care.



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