Open Forum in Greece

Greetings! I was touched by the collective efforts made by some Process Work friends to come together and process issues that are hitting so hard in Greece. Here is an account of it.


finally some quiet time to write about the forum :)

we gathered on Saturday 90 something people and spent 3 hours together talking, sharing thoughts, feelings and experiences

we all left feeling well, no one got hurt, which was a big thing...

some complaints afterward that fires were quickly controlled and more heated interaction was missed

but many voices were heard

some that i remember - maybe others from the forum team will add their perspective on it too:


issue of responsibility - who is responsible for the situation we are

in, who is accountable, who will take responsibility, the difference

between personal responsibility and political responsibility, a reaction

against the attempt from the politicians to create a collective

responsibility/ guilt - "we all "ate" the money together, we all

profited" - to deflect their responsibility and put it onto the people,

while at the same time an attempt to take responsibility as a citizen,

from where a dialogue between the older generation and the younger one


- i want to apologize to the younger generation for the mess we have

created, that we are leaving you with, it's up to you now, the young


- i feel you're leaving me alone with a huge weight, i want you with me

- i'm not leaving you, i'm here with you to do what i can


older generation man read an email that has circulated widely as an

indication of the wide-spread practice over the years of people using

their connections to their local politicians or other people in power to

secure jobs in the public sector for their loved ones - in the email

the author wrote "i was able to secure a job for my son in the post

office and for my daughter in the high-school"

in reaction to this one woman said: "my father tried to convince me

to let him talk to the politician of our area to secure a job for me as a

psychologist in the municipality. i'm glad i resisted and didn't let

him but i know that he did this out of his agony and his wish to care

for me and secure my future. I'm touched by your apology and i want to

thank you for it and for taking responsibility as an older generation"

this catalyzed momentarily the atmosphere as the deeper motivation

behind using personal connections to people in power to get a job that

you have applied for came to foreground

i'm either guilty for having a job in the public sector or guilty

for being unemployed - it's the states' responsibility to have jobs for

its people, that you have to use connections to get a job is a

governance issue, the state is responsible for organizing things

differently and not exchange "favors" for votes, and not the people's,

who have to act in this way if they want to get a job

eruption then came for the political responsibility that is never

stood for by any politian: i'm sick of hearing about personal

responsibility, i'm furious,  it's the politicians who have been and are

corrupt, they have eaten huge sums of money, from everywhere - the

olympic games, the ordering of weapons, the ordering of equipment - all

the money they have pocketed which now the public owes - everything has

been overcharged so that a big sum goes to the pay-off of politicians.

All this money has been borrowed and is "charged" to the people's

account. I'm furious, they have to pay, they have to be punished. Rage

is the only thing that got me out of my desperation and motivated me. I

was immobilized. Now i'm out of my house, on Syntagma square, i'm not

leaving until they pay.

another participant reacted to the intensity of the rage: i felt

terror feeling your rage coming at me... and at the same time, i sense

this rage in me, i want to throw petrol bombs and kill.

- i'm terrified of your rage and mine, what will it makes us do?

- i on the other hand am furious that i'm afraid

- i don't know where i am in all this

-  i don't know what to do

-  i'm ready to desert the ship, there's nothing here for me (younger person)

- when i hear you say that i'm moved to tears... i understand you need to leave but it saddens me deeply (older person)


was the first time that we heard it spoken publicly in a forum that "i

belonged to this political party or that political party"- someone said

that he was a ex-member of the right wing party that has ruled Greece

for decades, and was sick of it all and left all his friends there and

is now on the streets in Syntagma, and someone else said that she used

to be in the communist party and that she was tired of the wooden

language and empty words

there has been a huge split in this country between the people

belonging to the right and the left - people belonging to these two

parties were fighting one another in the civil war that broke out in

Greece right after the 2nd ww - with Britain and USA backing the right

wing and sending army to help defeat the fighters belonging to the

communist party, which was then forbidden and after signing a treaty

with them and having them surrender their weapons, there was a pogrom

against them, arrests, exile, torture, making life impossible for them,

many people escaped to other countries, only to come back 30 years

later, after the restoration of democracy in 74 after the fall of the


restoration of justice and healing was attempted in 74 by

recognizing all those who had been caught and tortured and those who had

been exiled to the torture camps on the islands, as well as all the

fighters of the resistance against the Germans, the right wind and the

left wing resistance fighters giving them pensions, but the civil war

and all the atrocities that happened from both sides is very much

unprocessed still

so it was surprising to us to hear people talk in public that they used to belong to these two parties


very much present was a debate between feelings on the one hand and

thought and action  on the other- how much should we focus on feelings?

it stops us from focusing on thinking - where is room for political

thought about what's going on? where is strategic planning on what to


some were inspired by the very creation of the forum itself - by the

fact that our group got together and did something - we found that

space we were in - which was very powerful and calming at the same time -

and were having the forum - the importance of doing what you can with

those around you.

others felt a sense of tiredness from all the words... what's the use? we're talking, talking...

then in the small groups people talked and shared, everyone stayed

and participated and when we got back together and people shared what

they had talked about, all the "solutions" started coming out, in terms

of directions...

- we already know what to do, what we are suffering from -

"corruption" (talking to someone you know in a position of power to get

something for yourself, or taking bribes, etc) - is in essence

relationship, interconnection - used for the benefit of all is where we

need to go

- use our abilities and what each has to offer for collective good -

people spoke of examples where a group of people got together and by

each offering what they knew to do helped someone in need in such a

holistic way that person quickly came out of the crisis she was in

people wanted to meet again and some wanted to be involved in the

creation of it - one woman said she was in theater work and wanted to do

something with others interested in that area - we said one of our next

projects is street theater :)

we said we'll have another forum in the fall

at the end,

people did a human chain to pick up and fold and stalk the 100 chairs

that we had rented from where we were sitting to a spot closer to the

street so they are ready to be picked up... everyone wanted to be part

of doing something together... it was very touching...

i felt so relieved when it was over... like a weight had lifted from my shoulders...


whole day i had been anxious - as i always am before facilitating - and

Lena and i in our preparation had worked with the energy of that spot

underneath the acropolis, i had sensed a spiral, that we all

collectively formed that spiral and got the message that all of us

together would do whatever it was we would do, which relaxed my agony,

and i then "left" completly, like in meditation, was in no mans land for

a while and when i "woke up" felt very relaxed, and Lena next to me

sensed a very straight line, the rock, felt grounded to the depths of

the earth and at the same time extending high up and the sense of being

an individual, of really being there... one of the feedback from someone

there was that they loved Lena's presence which was like a rock... :)

it was really nice to work together and with the whole team... we

fixed up the place in no time, cleaned it, the leaves and the bathrooms

and set up the chairs and we're ready an hour before it started and hang

out there all together waiting for people, and as people started coming

10 min before the start we greeted them - it was the first forum i've

seen so many hugs and kisses as people were coming in - i thought that's

special, something about relationship was really important this time...

it was a nice feeling having done this all together...

i'm sending you some photos from the forum to get a sense of it from the pictures too

the preparation team loved reading your messages (i forwarded them to them before the forum) - we felt your support, which made us feel less alone

love to you all from us all, lily