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Culture

Gialamas Presents Book at SoCal Hellenic Library

LOS ANGELES, CA – In a well-attended lecture at the Hellenic Library and Center of Southern California, in Bellflower on May 28, Dr. Stefanos Gialamas talked about his new book Leadership Propositions for Exit from the Greek Crisis.

The book was released on May 20 by the Greek publishing company Papazisi, and this was the first presentation in the United States.

Dr. Gialamas told TNH that “this is not a political book and we are not attempting to take political positions on the crisis. We are examining the deeper issues that have attributed to the crisis.”

Greece has been suffering from the lack of charismatic leaders the last twenty years and the perception is that most of them are corrupt or inadequate to resolve the ongoing crisis, and Gialamas views political corruption as a result of a cultural phenomenon. “There is a crisis in ethos and principals in the society and the politicians we elect are a product of that environment. The politicians cannot be immune from the environmentthey grow up in” he told TNH.

In order to overcome the financial crisis that has paralyzed the country the last eight years, Gialamas suggests that the nation collectively will have to completely reverse the psychology that exists today. “Hellenes need to be educated to the principle that individual needs and desires have to be in accordance with the needs of the society as a whole. Our individual needs have to be in harmony with the needs of the majority, not in antithesis.Individuals have to be aware of their own weaknesses and not to allow them to be a liability to the common good. That is where the concept of ethos has to be ingrained into the mentality.If we are successful in doing that, then people in power will not be susceptible to corruption.”

Gialamas gives paramount importance to the education of the young people. “Scientific research has shown that psychological education is primarily done in the confines of the family. Research has shown that rate to be as high as 70-80 percent. If there is mental abuse in the household and all the kids are hearing is how incapable or how lazy they are, then it becomes natural. When you accept those premises, then your self-esteem has been severely damagedand your future success impaired,” he told TNH.

Gialamas, who has been the President of theAmerican Community Schools (ACS) of Athensfor the past 12 years, believes that education is a shared responsibility of the student, the school and the family. He has developed an educational system that he named Global Morfosis Paradigm, guided by Ethos, a fundamental component in education. Global Morfosisaims to achieve an education where emotions, intelligence, and intellect must be harmoniously integrated. His innovative approach to education led him an invitation by the Qatar Foundation to join a team of experts to discuss the future of education at the World Innovation Summit. Gialamas is a staunch advocate of the Ancient Greek axiom “a sound mind resides in a healthy body” and the ACS Athens sports teams are some of the best in the region.

Following the presentation, Gialamas said that “in intellectual education, the emphasis has to be in encouraging analytical examination of the selected information. And the decision making has to be based on facts not assumptions or recycling of old models. If we encourage the young people to follow those principals then they will come up with new solutions to problems.”

After the presentation, Hellenic Library President Phillipas Trevezas opened the floor for questions and comments from the audience. The majority of the comments were rather pessimistic in regards to the future recovery from the financial crisis or thespeedy altering of attitudes. Gialamas quoted the Dalai Lama who had said that ” the only day we cannot change is yesterday” and that he personally feels that there is strong reason for optimism in Greece because the young people are willing to approach issues with a new perspective.

Gialamas said that he was privileged to have the opportunity to first present his book at the Hellenic Library and said his definition ofEthos is “to do the right thing when no one is watching us.” If we all adhere to that principle then we will excel as a society. After all, we cannot expect “our leaders to be ethical if we as citizens are not.” That is why in his Global Morfosis, the definition of Aristeia is Excellence guided by Ethos.

 

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