a little lesson from my father

I haven’t seen my father in over two years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about him all the time.  He’s a very brilliant and accomplished man, but also the type to overwhelm you with his expectations, which are almost impossible to meet.  So I spent my childhood (and let’s be honest, my adulthood too) kind of in awe of him.

Newspapers, radio news programs, and television news always wanted to interview him about various things:  as the expert in his field, getting an interview with him was valuable to them.  But he always turned them down.

“Never talk to the media,” he told me, when I was about twelve, in his way of giving us advice decades before we could possibly have any reason to use it.

He had been interviewed once, I think in the ’70s, and his words were quoted in such a way that they seemed to say the opposite of what he actually meant to say.  It was something as bizarre as him saying “I do not agree with this” and the paper quoting “I do… agree with this.”  He wrote a letter to the editor and that was the end of his involvement with the media.

I think it’s good advice.  With all the drivel coming out of the media about Greece – drivel I’m in a prime position to identify confidently as drivel, rather than ‘suspected drivel,’ or even ‘possible drivel’ – remembering my father’s advice makes me feel even more strongly that no one writes without bias, and many people are not above altering facts, quotations, even photographs to make the point that they want to make.  Suppressing different opinions is one of the obvious signs of this.

My bias is the following:  I love Greece deeply.  I started wanting to live in Greece when I was still a pre-teen.  I am married to a Greek man who is very accomplished and competent, and has none of the negative qualities assigned to Greeks by the media.  I am not blind to the bad things in Greece.  I have broken down in tears when dealing with the Greek bureaucracy.  The Greek government has reduced my husband’s full time wage yet again, to 588 euros/month, which is not enough to live on, and yet somehow we live on – these are not blindly pro-Greece concepts.  I don’t have an urge to ‘sugarcoat’ things to make Greece look better.  But I have natural optimism and years of experience living here and I feel very strongly that the Greeks I’ve had the pleasure of knowing are not ‘bad seeds.’  I will call b.s. where I see it, and I see it all the time, but I will not contribute to the stereotyping and generalizing trend in the media response to the Greek crisis.  My bias, and as my readers you deserve to know this, is love.

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6 thoughts on “a little lesson from my father

  1. Reblogged this on tinkererstoolchest and commented:
    This is a post from a blog that I ave been following recently. I thought I would pass it along to my readers. Heidi is an American who is living abroad in Greece and is married to a Greek man who works in a public sector job. Her posts often carry a unique perspective on the Greek financial crisis as she has a first hand look at what is happening in the Greek economy through the eyes of an American living through the results of the Greek austerity measures. It is a sobering look at what can happen when the economy of a country gets out of control.
    In this post she talks about the media bias and seeming misrepresentation of the crisis in Greece. This is a good reminder that we should never accept any one perspective on a situation as fact without reinforcing it by doing our own research.
    For more of her take on the Greek economic crisis check out the posts filed under “Financial Ruin” on Heidi’s blog homeingreece.
    Enjoy the reading.

  2. Heidi, Thanks for the first hand perspective on the Greek financial crisis. and your cost conscious approach to surviving the situation at hand. It certainly seems you are making the best of a dire situation.

    I hope you don’t mind I reblogged this post on my blog at tinkererstoolchest. I appreciate your “boots on the ground” take on the crisis. America has a lot to learn from what Greece is going through. I only hope we learn it before we repeat it. It seems we are on the same path that led the Greek economy to the dire condition that it is in at this point.

    God bless and protect you and S through this most difficult of times.

    • thank you for reblogging! and for your kind words. I agree that the US should take *full* advantage of this opportunity to learn from what other countries are going through. A little bit from Argentina, a little bit from Greece, a little bit from Germany, a little bit from Iceland, a little bit from Italy – there’s a lot to be learned and digested. Unlike some people, I don’t believe the US is *destined* for a complete economic collapse – but I think it would be utter folly to pretend that it couldn’t ever happen there.

  3. Heidi, love your bias. Actually, I don’t see why love should be a bias and sniggering, contempt, know-it-all syndrome, sarcasm or envy should be valid forms of commentary. At least love and optimism will get you somewhere – and possibly somewhere pleasant. Cynicism – not so sure about… So, let’s keep being biased and make things better!

    • thank you! I completely agree! Being realistic, practical – even being well-informed are all often mis-labeled as cynicism. True cynicism I think is disabling because it makes us prejudiced; whereas realism, practicality, and information make us less so.

  4. Heidi,
    Each time we give an opinion it has bias. How can it not? I love reading your posts and getting your perspective. I feel like if we were sitting at your table having coffee, this is what today’s conversation would be about. Yeah, it’s a mini-rant. But, that’s okay. Passion is good! At least I think so.
    ~ Dana

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