[caption id="attachment_2817" align="alignright" width="265"]
I have played a game with her for several days now, approaching her from different directions in an attempt to fool, or force her through the farm gate, but each time she finds an escape route and we end up conceding that she has the upper hand over me as she returns to her wild grazing in the depths of an icy winter.
The sheep wants her freedom: she does not want to be corralled or to be told what to do, she wants to live her life the way she chooses, even though there are risks involved – and that is the situation Greece is in, now. The country from which came the principles of democracy has decided it wants a different future from that which has been determined for it by others, and is being squeezed hard as a result in order to ensure conformity. The Greeks are seeking what they see as a better quality of life, while others want them to live in the way that suits the enforcers, and neither side, for now, is prepared to give in.
While there are strong shades of black and white in all of this, the situation is nuanced also. There is cruelty in the austerity demanded of the Greek people, though for decades Greece (or its leadership) was profligate; the Eurozone was flawed in its creation and careless in its rule enforcement, and Greece should not have been encouraged to join when she did; her political as well as her economic freedom has been violated; and she has been humiliated by her allies. It is not surprising her people want change, however costly it may be.
I have named the sheep outside my gate Zorba, and will do nothing more to move her to where common sense says she should be: she has made her wishes clear, and it may be her farmer-owner will collect her one day before her lambing begins. I have learned from her, and there are many lessons for all of us from Greece’s claim for freedom. In the end it is for the people of every land to choose how they want their community to be, and enforcement of rigid rules without compassion will never work.