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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 68

Tales from Crete | 68

Even as a child (yes, it's many years ago now) I learned from my parents that there was never too little to share. I couldn't always fully understand that, because how were you supposed to share a Pinocchio ball, which at the time cost 1 øre and which, moreover, was sold in bulk. "You take a knife and cut it in 2 halves, and then you can share it with your friend or brother" said my father. Well, yes, but what if you only have half a Pinocchio ball, what do you do, I tried. "You take a knife and cut it in 2 halves, and then you can share it with your friend or brother" he just said again. The conversation could go on like this ad infinitum, but no matter how hard I tried, the answer was always the same and many years had to pass before I really understood the meaning of what he said. 

I've tried to teach my children (who are now adults) the same thing but honestly, I think that for the most part they feel the same way as I did...that I didn't quite get the point .

"It's not what you get that makes you rich, but what you give" said my father, referring to the Pinocchio ball, and although it can also be difficult to understand, it's a little easier to explain, because it's about that completely basic in life and have little to do with material goods. But if you show your love to others, you can also expect to receive it in return and if you give a smile to someone you meet on your way, there is also a high probability that you will also get a smile back.

I once read an article about one of the homeless people in Denmark, who every day stood on a street corner selling the "Hus Fordi" magazine. He was asked by the interviewer how many magazines he sold on such an ordinary day. "I don't know, but it doesn't matter either. I'm not here to sell magazines, but to make the people passing by happy and give them a good day, and when I smile kindly at them, I almost always get a friendly smile back and that makes me happy," he said.

Wealth is not a matter of having a lot of money, although of course it is nice to have, because you can buy yourself a lot of material things, but happiness cannot be bought with money, and sometimes there is a strange and incomprehensible curse on a great deal of material wealth, i.e. a lot of money. The only 13-year-old Athina Onassis commented on this in an interview in 1998 to the well-known American journalist Diane Sawyer from Vanity Fair magazine. "If I burn the money, there will be no problem. No money = no problem” she stated.

While most people probably think that it would be nice to have more money in the account, the relationship with money for the Greek-French billionaire heiress Athina Onassis seems to be the exact opposite. She has almost seen them as a curse that has followed her throughout her life.

The 35-year-old billionaire's life has been anything but easy, even though she otherwise had a fortune that already at a very early age gave her the title: 'The world's richest little girl'. But the many billions have undeniably been associated with death, fear and problems throughout most of Athina Onassi's upbringing.

The background to her huge inheritance - the legacy of her maternal grandfather, the successful Greek billionaire and shipowner Aristotle Onassis, which is estimated to have been at least 800 million dollars, equivalent to more than five billion kroner -  is unbelievably tragic. At only three years old, she lost her mother, Christina Onassis. A tragic death which was only the latest in a series of tragedies in the Onassis family. Shipowner Aristotle Onassis, who was known as a womanizer and had, among other things, the opera singer Maria Callas as his mistress, and who later also married the former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy, lost his son, Alexander, in 1973, and unfortunately the series of tragic deaths even further in that family.

Athina Onassis speaks four languages; Swedish, French, English and Portuguese. No one knows for sure how big her current fortune is, but it is estimated to be somewhere between 1.5 and 3 billion dollars, corresponding to between 10 and 20 billion kroner. Lots of money, yes, but no happiness.

The best thing to end on is to just say: smile at the "Hus Forbi" seller, the next time you meet him, because then you yourself have shared your own "Pinocchio ball" with someone who will be happy and he will be happy to share it with even more a smile.

Have a nice weekend and remember - it takes a lot more effort to look angry than to smile.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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