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The Poor Give Most



“Sure, we Greeks have economic problems,” my cousin’s voice turns emphatic, “but these people, they have nothing at all.” Visiting my family in Athens this week, I’m touched by the personal expressions of compassion. “Some of the refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria are housed in Piareas – the Athens port. My friends and I are gathering blankets and clothes to take down and give to them.”


Peter Comninellis provides a glimpse of the humanitarian crisis, where each day some 2,000 refugees are arriving on Greece’s shores with only their clothes and pocket change. In an era where countries, and many of the United States, are turning their back to the plight, Greece individuals and as a nation is stepping up their action of compassion.


How is it that one of the Europe’s most economically troubled people are also leading their world in providing such care? In a fascinating research study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Forbes Magazine reports how in the aftermath of the 2008 Recession, the wealthiest Americans are giving less to charity, while the poorest are giving more. These finding should spark some careful introspection around the Beatitude that “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”


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