Outside our hotel is an entire tent city. Hundreds of refugees are crammed into Athens' Victoria Square, looking forward to a new life safe from the inherent strife in Syria and nearby conflicting regions.
I don't know how they got here: by boat, by train, by plane, by horseback, by scrambling through the Agean to set their feet on European soil. I suppose how they got here is unimportant. The life that they left behind was left behind for a reason and because of a circumstance entirely outside of their control.
From an American perspective, we think "Syrian crisis," we think "ISIS," and the mind automatically drifts to a vague sense of unease that stirs up a glimmer of Patriotism, with a capital "P." (Sooner or later, everybody loves Big Brother.) For sure, ISIS is involved, as they've capitalized on the unrest caused under Bassar al-Assad's regime. I'm no expert on the matter - I'm merely echoing some things I learned from people who are paid to be knowledgeable on this subject. Honestly, I'm not even entirely sure what my point is.
I'll sum up the rest in a list:
- these people are not ISIS and are not a threat to our freedom
- How does one maintain any spec of optimism when everybody else is playing Poker and you've been dealt some Uno cards and the top hat from the Monopoly board?
- Where does your life go after you've fled from a multiple-sided conflict and ended up sleeping on a stretched out piece of cardboard?
- I'm unable to fathom a life where being homeless and transient is preferable to the way things were.
- Trying to grasp this whole ordeal is a real mindfuck, and I keep repeating in my head what O'Brien tells Winston in 1984: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." And I'm not the one who deserves to be pessimistic.
- Who is helping these people?
As I said, I don't know if this blog has a point. I just wanted to share with all of you the simultaneous triumph and degredation of humanity as it's literally just outside my window.