Strictly speaing, I don't follow one of the ancient hellenic phylosophical and ethical paths. I'm a bit of a stoic when it comes to my ethical framework but most of it is a conglomoration of life's lessons, and ancient and modern words. I do have people whose words of ethical thought always--always--ring true to me. Well, I have one: Solon of Athens. For those of you not in the mood for a political rant, come back tomorrow. I don't ususally do this on my blog but I sometimes one needs an outlet for frustration.

Everyone who has been following this blog for a while knows how much I respect his work, his wisdom and his actions in life. Solon (Σόλων) was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet, who lived from 638 BC to 558 BC. He spent most of his adult life trying to legislate against political, economic, and moral decline in archaic Athens. His ideologies are often credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy. As a statesman, Solon put principles before expediency. In a time when Athens was struggling under the burden of civil war, his reforms strove to bridge the gap between the rich an the poor. Solon's reforms created a system where the power was in the hands of the people, if they were willing to work hard for it.  For those without political aspirations, Solon's reforms provided judicial safety and a sense of power.

Solon's words of wisdom, of which quite a bit was preserved in fragments in the works of others, are sound. They speak of a way of life where hard work gets results and where complaining while sitting on your ass makes you a fool. That is the moral I live by every single day. It's a moral I honestly think everyone should live by every day. It would make the world a hell of a lot better.

I can't have escaped your notice that the world is in turmoil. I don't think there is a single country right now that is not feeling the effects of poor governemetn and/or the voices of hate. Hate against people coming for asylum from war, hate against the government for the loss of a job or funds, hate because they cannot see the many and great blessings of their life--like a roof over their head, food in their bellies every day, a big screen TV and Starbucks coffee. As a friendly reminder: people all across the world are dying in wars, from poverty, in droughts that have killed the crops, in floods, in forest fires, in little rubber boats in the middle of the sea. these people do not have homes, these people do not have food, these people do not have heathcare (no matter how expensive) and these people can only imagine the luxury of bug screen TV's and Starbucks.

Solon made an amazing statement once that I think holds true to this day:

"If you have suffered grief through your own wickedness, don’t blame the gods for this fate." [CURFRAG.tlg-0263.10]

This does not mean that you committed a crime and lost everything because you were sent to jail. To me, this means that you make your own damn happiness and if you spent 99% of your time complaining and bemoaning a higher power (be it religious or political) while losing sight of how damn good you actually have it then it's your own fault you feel miserable. I am running out of patience with you, extreme right voting, 'our people first', discriminating and often agressive inhabitants of my country and all other countries around the world. You know, Solon also said another thing:

"Good government makes everything well ordered and fit,
 And at the same time it throws shackles on the unjust.
 It levels out the rough, stops insolence, and weakens arrogance.
 It causes the growing blossoms of blindness to wither.
 It straightens crooked judgments and it levels out over-reaching deeds.
 It stops the acts of civil conflict and
 It stops the anger of grievous strife and because of it
 Everything among men is wisely and appropriately done." [Solon, fr. 4.32-39]

At this point in time, I think the world needs a Solon-inspired overhaul. Politicians, put on your ancient Athenian inspired big boy sandals and criminalize this hate. It may be born out of fear but it's still a hate that is consuming our countries and lives. Hunt down those who discriminate, ban it from your political landscape, make hate as punishable as acts of terror--because all actions of hate are acts of terror. Yes, it will cause riots, yes it will cause turmoil but we are in need of good, strong government. We are in need of elections where we don't have to hold our breaths in fear of the right wing extremists winning. We are in need of streets where muslim people can walk on without being terrorized. We are in need of soccer matches without banana's tossed onto the field. We are in need of open borders and a welcoming environment for refugees who truly need refuge. We are in need of strong government that speaks with one voice and a clear purpose.

As much as I love Solon, I think Socrates was right about one thing (paraphrased): people need governing. Solon had the right idea: idealy, people would govern themselves, but as Socrates put forth, an individual will put his or her percieved happiness before that of others every day. So I want a political overhaul that unifies the political landscape, an iron fist to smooth out the turmoil in the minds of people and reassure them that they can let go of their fear, and then put power back in their hands again. A massive overhaul to get back to true democracy with informed opinion. Because I am sick and tired of living in a country run by fear. It gives too much power to rogue extremists and it taints absolutely everything. We are better than this--we have been better than this for over 1600 years! No, ancient Hellas was not perfect and please let's not romanticise it, but at least they had the right idea every once in a while, which is more I can say for the current state of affairs.

This rant was brought to you because of fear mongers and hate enthousiasts who judge people by appearance, make hateful claims, speak and act out in violence and who are only able to feel accomplished when others have less than them. In the words of Solon: make reason your guide. Finally.