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Dr. Alex Pattakos: The golden age of Greece is coming

08 September 2010 / 13:09:37  GRReporter
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It is not so much team work but the meaning of others in our life, because if you are working and connecting meaningfully with others you are much more likely to find solutions. Besides, you are sharing the risk, you are sharing the burden. But if you end up saying that the world is falling on your shoulders, then you are the ancient Greek Sisyphus. You are trying to push the ball up the heel every time it gets the top of the heel and comes back down. And it is a constant, endless, joyless striving for something you will never get. It is much more likely to get it if you connect. This connection may be teamwork in a business, in a company.  And that is the reason unions were organized, because they found power in numbers.

But sharing is more than just numbers. It is about sharing values, it is about sharing risk, it is about sharing hardship, it is about sharing opportunities. And if people could see that – and that’s what the others is about – then they will find the meaning. If you go to a village, to a Cretan wedding you will see that the weddings are not just for the bride and groom. They are not only for their families. Not just for the village. The wedding is for anybody who shows up. The connectivity is such a powerful force. And that is piece.

The other is teamwork but teamwork is a buzz word. “Let’s have better teamwork!” But then people aren’t really connected with each other because they are fighting with each other. They do not trust each other. The true connection really is authentic connection. We don’t have to drive a Hammer; we don’t have to have big shopping centers. So, what if I didn’t make millions of dollars? I have a million dollar life.

You meet a lot of people. You teach at the university, you consult people, travel, you make speeches… What makes people so vulnerable to become prisoners of their thoughts now in the beginning of 21st century?

We can go back to the middle of the 20th century. If we go back right after the World War II, Frankl described that the society has three major problems or conditions we have to deal with if we are going to have a better society, a better world. I call this psychological access of evil in the 21st century. These are strict conditions. These are the symptoms of the pulse of society. The first is the addiction. We see unbelievable addictions. Addiction to drugs and alcohol, addiction to shopping, addiction to the Internet. We have more addictions now than whenever in the 1940s or before. Sexual addiction. The second is the aggression. Think about aggression. Exultation. Aggression it terms of each other, war, violence, crime… There is a lot of aggression in a destructive kind of a way. And then comes the depression. Frankl and then I in my writing see that symptomatic of modern day in the modern society.

We have to deal with that, because those three conditions are promoting a sense of meaninglessness for a lot of people. A lot of people cross the generations. Young people are wandering “Do I have security? What is going my life to be like in the future?” Old people are retiring: “How am I going to deal with all this?” So, they start to get into depression or addicted behaviours or they are getting into aggressive behaviours in some cases. Road rage, parking rage… Somebody shuts up the company and people are supposed to resign their jobs but they see that in the headlines.

Those are the three societal conditions that we have to watch very carefully. They manifest themselves in different way. It is really sad in Greece, because what is going on with the anarchists is creating a kind of meaninglessness. I refer to this journalist that was recently killed in Athens. It is about the organization that assumed the responsibility… They are nihilists. They don’t value the meaning of life. And a lot of Americans don’t like that. That creates the aggressive, depressive and addicted kind of conditions in society. And what happen is that we move into more complex forms of being, of living together. There is a big difference between the local community and the complex modern society.

People in the local community know each other, they trust each other, and they love the neighbourhood. They would never rob anybody, hurt anybody. It is not honourable. The modern society is complex. People are not personally connected and that’s why we have to be careful with the Internet, people are now living in this ultimate reality, they have an avatar that represents their ego. As we move into those phases of societal evolution, we are moving away from the village. And as we get away from that we are no longer responsible and accountable. So, we have to find a kind of balancing point. You can’t have true freedom if anybody can do whatever they want, because this causes the major conditions of aggression, depression and addiction.  

The more we can focus and help people find the purpose in their work, in their everyday life, the more we can help them change and shift their attitude. The more likely we are going to raise their consciousness so that they can have happier, healthier and meaningful life. This is a mission. That can happen today, tomorrow but the key here is to respect the roots of contemporary Western civilization that are really embedded in the soul and soil of Greece. And people need to respect that, understand that and take the best of it. We are not talking about all the corruption in Greece.

Your new business initiative is also connected with Greece. Tell us a little more about it.

Tags: Alex PattakosPrisoners of Our ThoughtsMaria S. TopalovaInterview
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