Summer reflections

As you read these lines, most of you will probably be relaxing on some beautiful beach on mainland Greece or one of the islands. Some of you will have taken instead to the mountains, back to your homeland and the innocence of childhood. Finally, a considerable number of you will have chosen to stay in your apartments; still at your place of residence and employment but with a sense of summer recess. We wish you all a pleasant vacation this month of August. We all know that it is not easy, nor advisable, to leave all of our worries behind. Problems are an inalienable part of our lives, regardless of our state of mind. Experience has taught us that worries are always with us and that it is amidst them that we search for joy, relaxation and calm. Virtually all of our political leaders will be away this week, their political offices closed, and political issues will be pushed out of the newspaper headlines and away from other media attention. Many of you will react to this with a sigh of relief, thinking that it was about time we lifted our heads to see that there is more to life than politics. A whole world waits to be discovered. There is the variety of nature and the seasonal changes, society and individual people, joy and pain. Politics, of course, will retain its role as an inspirer and organizer of collective effort. Whenever we turn to politics, we essentially expect it to fulfill this role. We hope that the summer break will give our politicians some time to relax and ponder whether they have lived up to their duty of inspiring and coordinating such a collective effort. The question is not who will win the next elections, but what they will do with their victory. We have often seen glorious victories wasted in the past. What is more, our politicians must reflect on what they have done to benefit or harm the country with their policies so far. With these thoughts, from a half-deserted Athens, we wish you a pleasant summer.