OPINION

Fear is our worst enemy

Greeks have suffered a great deal over the past few years. The rapid decline in living standards and plummeting disposable incomes, leading many into poverty, are of course the first consequences of the crisis that come to mind.

However, we are gradually starting to realize that even bigger problems follow in the wake of the constant fear of poverty.

These are insecurity, the inability to think ahead or make any kind of plan for the future, the sense of frustration at being unable to help and protect the weaker people in our midst, the feeling that our sense of dignity is being eroded or at best transforming into something else, and, most importantly, a constant fear of tomorrow.

Fear is the worst form of suffering and it also determines the decisions and actions of a plethora of people who have yet to understand what they have done to deserve such an exacting toll.

Fear eats away at the core of the powerless victims of the crisis; it brings the mind to a standstill, sinks us into despair, we lose our sense of worth. It is fear that paralyzes us and makes us unable to draw on what resistance we have left.

Fear: This is the enemy that we need to address first.

It is therefore obvious that the heralds of doom and gloom, those who spread ill-omened prophecies and who stir our fears are a direct and conscious threat to the already hurt and fearful citizens of this country.

We are not talking about analysts and politicians with integrity who tell people how the situation really is and warn them about future dangers. After all, a realistic approach to the situation is the first step toward solving some of the problems that plague us. It is the step that will lead us to fight the situation rather than to resign ourselves to it.

We are talking about the irresponsible demagogues, the tele-evangelists of fear, the random populists and climbers, the fortune hunters who respond to the agony of the people with fearmongering and doomsaying. We need to close our ears to their voices and view them only within the context of a society struggling to get back on its feet.

Once we place them in the right framework, then we can see them for the useless voices that they really are and we can defuse the fear they generate.