|18 May 2022|
Katerina Apostolides is a graduate of ACS Athens, class of 2002. She is a philosophical counselor in Athens and was recently published by Merion West, a nonpartisan US journal on politics and culture. In the article Gods and Beasts: An Aristotelian View of the “Corona-Years”, she reflects on what living during the pandemic has meant for all of us, through the lens of Aristotle's idea that to be a human being is to be something between a beast and a god.
She argues that during the "Corona-Years" we have been living as both gods and beasts. But what will happen once the restrictions are lifted? You can find the entire article HERE.
She was born, raised, and currently resides in Athens, Greece. After graduating from ACS, she crossed the Atlantic to attend college in Connecticut. It was there, that she developed a love of political philosophy. Including the ancient Greek practice of philosophy as a way of life and of relating to others.
Her Athens-based counseling practice helps people bring a philosophical perspective to challenges they experience in the workplace or in their private lives. This includes burnout, alienation from or conflict with others, or the search for greater meaning and purpose. She holds a master's degree in political science and has taught political philosophy. She also practices alternative dispute resolution. Her other interests include energy healing, tai chi, and karate.
It’s important to have the feeling I am on the right path in my life and with the work I’m doing. That I’m prioritizing the things that matter to me deep down, and that I enjoy and like who I am in my work. I’m also someone who is really prone to self-reflection as a habit. I want to be able to use this to help others think more creatively and clearly about their own public and private lives, too.
Probably the biggest factor has been all the people I met in my life who have had the courage to think for themselves and to do something that goes against the grain somehow. And I suppose that includes people I didn’t meet in real life, but whose books were inspiring to me.
My experience as a philosophical counselor has shown me how much most people deep down need and want philosophy. People want the opportunity to think about what really matters – even if it is not always the most comfortable thing. They want to be sure that they are seeing clearly, and that they are living up to their personal ideals.
One example that sticks out is a young woman I met in New York City. She came to the United States with her mother and brother as refugees from Sudan when she was a child. She later married someone she didn’t love, who was probably using her to get a green card, and who had been abusive towards her. In our first meeting, the words she was saying were all coming out in the wrong order; it took me a while to realize that she could speak English correctly when she was calm. Several paper towels had filled with mucus and tears. But I realized that what she wanted most of all was to figure out whether leaving her husband and changing her phone number, which she had done several months before, was the morally right thing to do or not. What was important to her was to have a good conscience about her own actions.
What motivates me is helping people to believe in themselves and in the feelings they have about what is meaningful or important. I want to help others become more self-aware about these things, so they can live in a fulfilling way.
Above all, I want to congratulate you on the hard work that you’ve already done and the great things you’ve achieved. The doors you’ve opened up for yourselves. I miss standing where you stand, with my twenties and thirties still lying ahead. In my case, I spent those years pursuing an academic career in different cities of the US, until six years of chronic fatigue syndrome helped me realize that what I really wanted to do was counseling. Now I help others who want to reorient themselves to living more authentically and with more fulfillment.
If there’s some advice that I can offer from (gasp) 20 years down the line, it would be this: pursue the studies and the work that makes you feel most alive and most connected to a sense of wonder about things. Don’t concern yourself with what other people think, the honors they give or withhold from you, but do the things you do for their own sake, with purpose and care. Remember that it is who you are, and the spirit you bring to things, that matters more than anything else.
Learn more about Katerina on her website at www.eudaimon-counseling.com.