I just returned from spending close to seven weeks in Greece. While I certainly enjoyed my time there, I’m happy to be back in America. Living in a tiny Greek village really opened my eyes to the luxuries I enjoy in America (like being able to flush toilet paper… seriously). The sheer amount of poverty I saw startled me – I can’t speak for Greece as a whole, but the divide between rich and poor in my village was striking, and there were a lot of poor.
I saw people living in tiny dilapidated huts, their only possessions being a few articles of clothing, some aging farm equipment, and chickens. Still, they had sufficient food to survive, and were always willing to greet me (the exotic American man) with a smile as I walked by. I like to think that if I were a young boy growing up in that scenario, I would work my butt off to better myself enough to make it out of there and provide a better upbringing for my children. I know that it’s easy to talk about and hard to do, but my own father did just that. He grew up in a mud hut in a tiny Middle-Eastern village, and worked hard enough at his education to first make it into college and then into grad school in America. I am grateful that he did, for I owe my entire upbringing in America to his efforts.
Anyway, I also saw the richest of the rich, including visiting houses that would stun a sultan with their marble construction, artwork, and grandeur.
Now that I’m back, I have a renewed appreciation for my home country. Sure, America has its problems right now, but I have faith that she will hold together easily. Wobbles in the stock market and threats of an economic recession suddenly seem rather moot to me. I would give anything to see America avoid the levels of corruption and political unrest that I saw in Greece.
Ok, that’s enough flag waving for now. Mr. IM is back, and InterestingMoney will continue to plod along, though with at least a slightly-higher posting frequency! Thanks for reading.