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Skyros Blog

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Skyros holidays co-founder Yannis Andricopoulos examines the current crisis' opportunities to transform our society and advance our own development. 

Sitting targets of the coronavirus, we ended up like water imprisoned in tanks. What a chance to discover the lowest limits of communicability! And enjoy what Netflix so generously provides, cook something provided we are lucky enough to find food on the supermarket’s shelves, dust off our furniture and have an extra cup of tea with the taste of some sort of disinfectant! 

Our new reality collides grossly with the unnegotiable reality we’ve been familiar with since the day we were born. It’s happened before, though in reverse.

It was when Zeus ordered Hades to take Sisyphus down to Tartarus. Sisyphus managed nevertheless to tie Hades up and keep him prisoner for quite some time – in the latest version of the story, for as long as the coronavirus epidemic lasts. Nobody could, as a result, die.

But those happier times have gone. Probably for good. And we have now to keep trying to swallow our solitariness, which, just like a big fishbone, is stuck in our throat.

Still, ghastly though it is, our current ‘sad music of humanity’ presents us also with opportunities. If, of course, we decide to explore them rather than blank them out. 

Turn benignity into the outstanding feature of our era

On top of the list is the opportunity to elevate our concerns for our fellow human beings to a level normal life is unfamiliar with. It’s what will set us up in tune with the higher parts of our own selves, enable us to help those in need, and, hopefully, turn benignity into the outstanding feature of our era. All this may also give us a sense of gratification, which can make, at least some of us, feel as proud as a chimney. But, I’m sure, we’ll forgive those people as we’ve forgiven God for the coronavirus!

Instead of inconsequential talk when contacting people either by phone or online, we explore their feelings and thoughts, listen to their worries and respond to their needs. Breathing understanding, sympathy and compassion, we support them and help them as much as our impoverished circumstances allow us. 

Co-listening, the Skyros-born form of communication, is probably the best way of making meaningful contact, and so is Oekos, again a Skyros-born form of meaningful communication. 

But our solitary existence and the dullness it generates can also liberate us from past constraints and turn into an opportunity to do what, perhaps, we’ve always dreamt about. It’s also what will help us to confirm ourselves before hanging from our window the flag of self-reliance and self-determination. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to our determination

Opportunity to try what you've always fancied but never tried

In our enforced isolation, we can, thus, try what we’ve always fancied but never tried. Things that enhance our creativity, improve our skills and make us feel good about ourselves. Socrates gave us the lead in this respect. Having been sentenced to death for failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledged, and while waiting for the fateful day in prison, he turned the Aesop’s fables to verse.

So, instead of watching television, you can try to draft your novel or review and amend what you’ve already done in this respect. You may try some poetry, play an instrument – harmonica, ukulele or bagpipes – or improve your comedy skills as a conversational entertainer. 

Alternatively, you may go for some watercolour or acrylic painting, drawing, pottery, woodcarving, sculpting or creating models out of cardstock or paper – what’s called papercraft. Or calligraphy. Or, perhaps, gardening – including vegetables, for a change – and dry stone walling. 

Further you may test you baking skills by making some loafs of bread or cakes, try some knitting or making a cake or soap with plant-based ingredients. Equally well, you may try online courses in digital photography, graphic design or jewellery making. Or try to improve your foreign languages skills.

Any of the above helps to cut ourselves off from the infinity of the darkness that surrounds us and rise above drives as deep as instinct itself. It gives us the opportunity to grow as human beings and become mentally stronger and independent. 

We will certainly never manage to be as perfect as Swiss watches. But opting out is not an option as it will only reinforce our ability to express our disengagement from the world. 

It all takes a bit of courage but, as Goethe said, it’s courage that shapes the world. 


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