Let each shoulder his own responsibilities

Youngsters have their whole lives before them, as we say. They live in the present, are not responsible for the past and they are building their future. School years are the best of our lives, we thought, until we were hit by the stones of disaffection and rage. Fifteen-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos was killed by a policeman’s bullet. A finger pulled a trigger and, whether by a direct shot or by ricochet, Alexis paid with his life for an immortality that he never wanted… Days and nights have passed, the boy was buried as a sea of mourners stood by. The sound of the shovel on the coffin gave way to the hail of stones and the sound of shop windows smashing, to the cloud of tear gas. The waves of protesters will not subside but keep rising against the strange lack of nerve, the paralysis of those who should be governing. Because the list of problems is long, we ought to put an end to the irresponsibility that starts at home, passes through the school system, comes to rest with the politicians (government and opposition) and leads to youngsters throwing stones. The same hands that a few years earlier were throwing pebbles at the sea are now hurling rocks at shop windows to protest against consumerism. When the youngsters move on, others come out of the shadows to loot the shops. At home we have little time for the children, rushing from one job to the next in order to make ends meet, as our consumerist age demands. We have lived through many problems and had hoped that our children and grandchildren would not have to face problems such as foreign occupation, poverty, civil war and so on. But the tragic loss of one of their own armed the children’s hands and they cast their vote of no confidence in a society that does not allow them to study find work or make a better life. Let everyone shoulder his or her responsibility – in the home, school, university, the government, opposition parties – so that the hands can let go of the stones. Then maybe those hands, in a couple of years, will vote for a better society.

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