Any one who has been following the international economy, the markets, politics, and the news, knows that Greece has been struggling and flirting with complete bankruptcy. The financial crisis in Greece the last few years has put tremendous pressure on Greek society, which has been coming apart at the seams.
One of the results of the crisis is that you see children, like the boy in the picture, out on the street "working" and begging for money. So instead of being in school (the photo was taken around noon on a weekday), he was sitting in the center of Athens playing music on his accordion and hoping passersby would chip in some money. I watched and listened to him for about 20 minutes. He never stopped smiling and he was very cheerful with the people who stopped to listen to him and give him some money. He had his little dog with him for company and a Greek-style pretzel as you can see in the photo. So as troubling a situation as he is in, he is courageously and with charisma dealing with his daily reality. Though I still hope he gets a chance to go (back?) to school, I am glad I ran into him in the center of Athens and was able to snap a few pictures. His smile and attitude were priceless.