I am deeply aware that the (collective) mourning in Greece is very recent and based on the occasion of the tragic event, I wanted to share some various broader thoughts.
Many experts on the subject have now explained that, unfortunately, the accident was a matter of time before it happened. This is because for years those responsible have never taken steps to ensure, as far as humanly possible, the safety of train passengers.
The phenomenon for the Greek society is not new in my eyes on a personal and collective level and this concerns the overall lack of love and care.
Driving and using one's mobile phone, riding a motorcycle without a protective helmet, stopping the car wherever one wishes are everyday choices of greek citizens based on taking personal risk for the safety of both themselves and other fellow citizens.
In this country, unfortunately, we learn early on that personal interest overrides all collective, we copy in exams, we give public sector jobs to unqualified people, assign public projects to friends and relatives in exchange for money, and so on.
The instinct of self-preservation and temporary survival prevails again and again over every refined criterion of a just and equal coexistence among all people. We learn to do the same in relationships by acting as "predators" to take from the other what we can without thinking about how the other feels, and ultimately disclaim all responsibility to commit to caring for the other. The message is clear: "my life and desires are worth more than those of the other, not equally. They worth more.
The same deeply sickening symptom appeared in the train incident. An unskilled employee, companies and systems that put benefit and profit before other people's safety and survival. Thus, duty and lives of people were lost somewhere along the way...
I have discussed at length the importance of responsibility, but it seems inexhaustible..
This is because it is a broad theme that permeates all aspects of our lives and is closely linked to the themes of love and care.
The primary concern of parents, for example, is caring for the survival of their children. In general, they should take care to bring food to the table, provide their children with clothes and shoes, and not risk being killed due to their own fault.
What about, though, the psycho-spiritual development of children;;
How a parent makes sure she really knows who her child is, what she likes, what her talents are, what her difficulties are, what her feelings are, what criteria shapes her choices, what she needs and what interests her in her life;
Part of this role rests almost exclusively on education, as if the accumulation of knowledge and information is the only solution. And so parents often avoid really teaching their children what it means, what it's like to be human. Parents avoid or don't know or don't care to know what it's like to be positive role models and not just food providers like other animals in a jungle. Thus, parents often fulfill alone part of the responsibility-care towards their children, caring only for their physical survival and not for them as a whole being.
Consequently, children, as future adults, citizens and parents, learn to have this half-responsibility towards themselves and others, and care so much for their survival rather than their evolution and refinement.
At the same time, our life becomes more complicated due to technology, lifestyle choices (e.g. travelling), information distribution, various relationships (through social media, etc.).).
It is a challenge, then, for today's man, on how he will continue to exist in all this complexity that he has created, and by what moral or not meaningful criteria he will conduct his life.
We have given our lives' keys to money making, to profit making, to an uncontrolled ambition of material wealth, and here are the results. In this regard, the appointed, untrained stationmaster, the companies and the systems involved are acquitted, because they all did what they learned to do, to guarantee their personal survival and well-being, to make cuts to maintain profit, not to invest in the operation of safety systems and so on.
In the same way a parent would say,' I brought food to the table, what else do you want me to do for my child, isn't that enough?'
It is time (that is, it has been a long time coming) to see collectively and genrally whether this is enough, and what is finally enough?
Who and what ultimately drives our car, train, plane, ship of our lives and in what direction?
And of course this is a huge process, because it involves redefining through reflection of the purpose, meaning and function of man in this world. If we perceive ourselves as animals in jungle societies just trying to survive, then achieving self-interest will always be first on the list of criteria for action and behavior.
Game theory (especially the prisoner's game) has shown for several years now that in the long run it is more beneficial to work together than to compete for our survival.
And yet, it seems that many years will pass, and if ever, until people understand that by taking care of each other, we also take care of ourselves, because we guarantee survival for all at all levels (physical, mental and spiritual) and our evolution. Personal gain is not necessarily the opposite of collective as we are used to learn over and over again.
There are many examples of companies and parents caring for their employees and children as a whole, ultimately making more 'profit' in terms of money, but also ethically, such as satisfaction, better relationships and wellbeing.
Alternatively, we can choose to travel to other planets, eat gourmet food and at the same time kill children by all kinds of negligence!
Neglect in psychology is considered a form of abuse.. and it's our choice!