As a proud Greek-American, the fate of Greece is of immense concern to me. The complexities are beyond my grasp, and I have stopped even trying to intellectually understand the tragedy that has embraced the beloved country of my grandparents. I feel powerless to affect it in any meaningful way. Or at least I felt powerless until a moment on a very cold, very sunny December day in Boston.
That winter day, I attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women, where more than 8,000 of us, yes eight thousand, gathered together for one day, in one place, to be inspired, learn and lead together. The lineup of speakers was unprecedented in their experience and diversity, but there was a common thread. Each one believed that women possess a unique perspective, approach and skillset that the world needs now.
One might think this was a matter of knowing your audience. Not that this is a bad thing when you're standing in front of this mass and the men's restrooms have been relabeled to women's throughout the giant convention center, but it was far more than that. It was a call to action! It was an opportunity to reach beyond our cozy team of 8,000 to millions more with messages of wisdom. Specifically, the wisdom of women.
I wondered, how would Greek women solve the multitude of challenges that Greece is facing? What would they suggest be changed, be fixed, be stopped in order to secure the future of this beautiful corner of the world?
Has the wisdom and power of women ever really been explored in our Greek culture? I do not believe it has. We can debate that this may have played a part in the problems it faces today, not unlike most societies including the USA, but that is in the past. And I believe that Greece has let its past -- its glorious, world-changing, blow-your-mind past -- define and guide it for too long.
How do you challenge Greece to "not let history define them"? Maybe it's as simple as the voices who have not been historically heard to rise up and say, "Hey, don't let history define us!"
It is time to innovate. As a struggling brand either innovates or dies, iteration and babysteps just won't do. It is time to love this country unconditionally. It is time to use the incredible talent that is deeply embedded in the DNA of Greeks all over the world to fix Greece. Starting with women, the time is now.
Why not an Athens Conference for Women? A platform to hear these fresh voices! Combine their unique perspective, humble intellect and collaborative nature with stalwart pride, sense of humor and a healthy dose of guilt -- we could kickoff a movement of, I daresay, historic proportions! Women can offer this innovative perspective, a fresh approach that will bring hope and opportunity to a country with an ancient legacy, or in other words a lot of baggage. Women should be at the heart of this change to reframe and transition Greece for the future.
During his keynote address at the event in Boston, renowned author Deepak Chopra spoke about our transition from a knowledge-based culture to a wisdom-based one. This transition would require a collective transformation, that by nature will require the strengths most often associated with women -- peace, harmony, laughter and love. He predicted we will see the emergence of the goddess archetype to lead this transformation.
In the spirit of Athena, goddess of wisdom, who would challenge us to see the big picture, overcome obstacles and embrace idealism; through Artemis, goddess of nature, who encourages us to understand what we can be the best at, set boundaries and pursue our goals; to Aphrodite who fosters our relationships and knows that without true passion there is nothing -- it's time to call women to Athens. It's time to summon our collective genius, and lean on our goddesses to bring us the wisdom, leadership, partnership, support and passion Greece needs now. Where the best is in the future, and no longer in the very distant past.
One day in Athens, surrounded by legacy and love where women come together to share their perspective and hope on what's next for Greece.