I am not an economics major and this whole Greece crisis thing has confirmed that – in more ways than just having some tertiary education piece of paper to prove it.
#GreeceCrisis trended on Twitter over the weekend and still continues to trend. Off the top of my head, here’s what I understand about it, the economy is falling apart, Greece is broke and the ATMs don’t work or have been capped. If you’re anything like me and you know more than this – well done. Twitter does have a habit of turning ordinary citizens into, among other things, financial analysts, political analysts and sometimes even brain surgeons. Obviously, the thing it’s most popular for is for turning an ordinary human being into a complete troll. Magic.
The truth is, I could also read one or two pieces of news and pretend to be fully informed. In the age we live in, we’re almost forced to do this, in order to not look like complete idiots. Trust me, I have found myself in conversations before where something like this whole Greece thing comes up and at the slightest admission of someone not fully understanding what the situation is there’s usually a massive gasp followed by a rhetorical question like, “Do you live under a rock?” or something.
Trust me, I have read articles on several reliable news websites. I have read news articles, looked at infographics, analysed analysis pieces, engaged with explainers and it’s still all Greek to me. Now I am not saying that that’s the case for everyone. Like I said, I am truly gifted in the “inadequate in economics” department, the Greek gods were bountiful when they blessed me with the inability to understand any of this. But I know I am not the only one, it’s just that there is too much pressure to act like you know everything instead of admitting that when it comes to actually getting a handle on Greece, Buzzfeed sorted you out completely. Yes, it was probably oversimplified, but that’s exactly what you needed. If nothing else, it held your hand before you moved on to the more complex stuff, so that you could legitimately throw words like “Grexit” and “Fiscal” around and actually know what they mean.
Because the point is that this is an important story to grasp. It’s important to be able to engage with this crisis, to understand it and talk about it, because apparently the crisis has an effect on the global financial system (I say apparently, because I have read so – again, I don’t entirely understand how, or what that would mean).
But honestly, there is truly nothing wrong with not pretending to know what the hell the difference is between Greece having its own currency, or using the Euro or losing the Euro or whatever. I don’t say this loosely. I completely understand the consequences of this on the people of the country, the ordinary citizens whose lives are being strangled and are suffering. Okay, wait, I don’t entirely. Because it’s complex isn’t it? At best, I just understand that it’s not fair and it’s not fun and that the words “fiscal situation” are being thrown around a lot, and that’s all I can say about that, (reading Homer’s Iliad proved to be an easier thing for me to grasp).
What does it mean in detail? Well, I am hoping that some well-informed and sophisticated news channel will release a documentary about the people so that I can actually grasp it for myself because trust me, reading about economies and the European Central Bank isn’t helping one bit. My brain just does not work that way. And it’s completely exhausting for me to pretend that it does. To paraphrase Socrates, remember, that the source of wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.
Haji Mohamed Dawjee is the social media accounts director at Ogilvy PR