During these festive days along with the joy and happiness of the holidays we see before our eyes – albeit sometimes almost imperceptibly or by association as the Alexandrian poet Cavafy would say – images of unhappiness and incapacity.
We see images of defenceless and hungry children who have been forgotten by God, of lonely senior citizens, of marred youthful faces to which life has not been kind, of homeless people who live in ruins or under bridges or wherever they can find, of women who in life’s struggles have lost their youth and vigour, of our fellow citizens who are have-nots and incapable and who are groveling, desperately bound by the shackles of unemployment, poverty, and all types of sickness.
There are tens or even hundreds of thousands such people. They are out there enduring martyrdom. They pass us by and stand like ghosts near the commercial centers of the consumer society that we visit self-satisfiedly. They walk among us and sometimes we pity their fate or simply look the other way or walk on by.
Let us not fool ourselves. They are there and their images return and haunt us, reminding us all that they exist, that they need and want our solidarity.
Greece’s over decade-long economic crisis left behind economic, business, professional, and above all human rubble.
Before the wounds had a chance to heal, the public health crisis came along with a first and now a second, stronger wave that greatly expanded the circle of poverty and misery, of incapacitated and desperate people, while adding the direct threat of dying.
Indeed most of the victims are poor and weak and have no way out. They lack information, knowledge, and the capacity to visit health services and hospitals in a swift and timely manner.
It is true that the state is trying to support everyone and to offer the necessary care and aid.
It is necessary for it to do much more but whatever it may do is never enough for a variety of reasons.
That is why it is important for all of us who are even somewhat better off to rush to assist them – if not by sacrificing at least by giving whatever we can spare to these outcasts and unhappy souls who do not have enough to get by.
There are ways and useful vehicles that can help us to effectively express our solidarity in a concrete manner.
Churches, municipalities, charitable networks, and humanitarian organisations have organised structures that are able to channel our aid effectively.
Especially this Christmas no one should left alone and isolated without the warmth of solidarity and of helping one another.