The ethnic, racial or religious set of cultures in which a person is brought up greatly influences the life of that person. These sets of cultures also largely determine what a person grows up to become in their education, careers, personality traits and other choices in life. Everyone unconsciously tries to live up to the expectations of their culture. I was born in and raised in Greece to the world famous and rich Greek Culture. This has greatly influenced my life and even the fields of study that I have taken up in my life to date.
Greece is very well known for its early civilization, advanced culture, architecture and most importantly for its philosophers who created modern democracy. From Aristotle, Plato and Pythagoras, to Timon, Thales and Socrates, Greek philosophers have formed the basis of thought for many civilizations starting from the Roman Empire to the democracy practiced in the world today. In Greek schools, students are exposed to the works of these philosophers from early on and from the first time; I learnt about them, they have always intrigued me. This exposure sparked a love of philosophical debate in me since my first grade and I strongly believe that if I had the chance, I would have spent my life debating and I would have grown into a great debater much like Plato or Aristotle. The influence of these philosophers is why I chose to join the debate club in my school. However, the fact that I do not debate as much as I would like to does not mean these philosophers still do not influence me in other areas. Other traits such as confidence and a strong desire to be constantly informed about all the happenings in the world; traits that are important in studying politics, have arisen out of the influence of my Greek heritage and the influence of other Greeks that came before me.
In recent years, Greece has gone through a period of serious economic and social upheaval with the country’s economy almost collapsing due to foreign debts. Social upheaval followed as Greek people protested against the austerity measures that the government instituted to try to get the country’s economy back on track. These austerity measures were proposed in part by Greece’s creditors. This is how globalization has affected Greece. Greek philosophers invented democracy that spread worldwide and contributed towards creating globalization. Globalization has now come back to affect the Greek economy and the lives of her citizens. Greece also is the first country to have experienced democracy as the world knows it today. Growing up in a country that is now at a crossroads because of its heritage and the new phenomenon of globalization, these experiences have influenced my choice of studies. I have decided to enroll in the international baccalaureate program, and I have focused on the International aspect of it with special interest in the relationships between countries throughout the world. I have always had a desire to study politics and how countries are structured from the early days of my education and the recent happenings in my country have cemented this desire even further.
My country, my culture and my heritage and had a great influence on the person that I have grown into. If I had been born in a country other than Greece, I probably would not have made the choices I made, developed the character traits that I have or decided to study the courses that I currently do. Greece and Greek culture are a central part of my identity and without it; I would never have been the person that I am today.