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“Filotimo” is not ‘all Greek’ to you

“Filotimo” is not ‘all Greek’ to you

“Filotimo” is not ‘all Greek’ to you

” Filotimo” is not ‘all Greek’ to you. As we all somehow carry our culture with, or on us, I am no exception.

I carry my culture making my Greek coffee in the morning. You can see my culture on my grimy apron, so much so, that no matter how much I wash it, it stays beautifully stained. My dining table shows my culture too, as this is where many things happen, like cooking, studying, creating, thinking, worrying, most of life activities at one table, like most cultures, right? As Greeks, we carry our culture in another way – with our “filotimo.”

What is filotimo?

Filotimo is this amazing human ability to listen to someone, and immediately find a way to help them in any possible way, thereby putting a smile on their face. Filotimo is that extra mile you will take, without sacrificing a lot, but will make a difference to others, that will give Greeks a sense of pride. (The sense of pride always counts for Greeks). I love helping and connecting people, especially when someone tells me their story, I silently think ” Hmmmm, how can I contribute.” That’s Filotimo. Most cultures that I know have this “filotimo” but may have lost it gradually, because this era cannot tolerate “filotimo.”

I see “Filotimo ” every day around me:

  • The guy from Bangladesh, who yesterday delivered my new gas bottle said “115 dirhams.” I heard 150 and he corrected me, so I had one more reason to give him the 150 dirhams.
  • To my colleague, Siddique at Pomegranate Institute who, last week gave me his mango juice, as he pitied me being on diet.
  •  To my sister-in-law, Amira who calls me every day to check on me, just for the sake of.
  •  You will be surprised how many friends I have made in my life because they helped me, or I helped.

So, we all have Filotimo, and if you ask me, it is the greatest human characteristic!

Vee Bougani and Monica Zlateva are two “friends” that I met once, on a plane and in a hospital. We have kept contact, and still help each other, whenever needed. Once you find a person with Filotimo, you know they will always be there for you! So, tomorrow, put your beautiful morning smile on your way to work and ask yourself, “how can I make a small difference to someone’s day AND feel happy and proud of myself?” Enjoy the game – it is a lifetime one – our “filotimo.”