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John Schickel: Chamber trip to Greece fueled my thirst to learn more about democracy, art, philosophy

I have recently returned from a trip from Greece which was sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Greece has so much to offer the world. It has given us the representative republic, art, philosophy, and theater. These topics have become very important to me over the years.

As a Kentucky state senator, I can be thankful that our representative republic is still a reality. When you look at the history of this form of government and how fragile they can be, the United States being the longest surviving one in history with less than 300 years makes me realize how important it is to protect.

Sen. Schickel in Greece

While on my trip, I was interested to learn that Greece and Kentucky are about the same size geographically. On our way to the great historic city of Athens, we passed through Corinth where the Bible story of St. Paul talking to the Corinthians took place.

Our guide was very insightful and showed us the very route on which St. Paul traveled while he was evangelizing the Christian faith to the pagan nation. We also visited the ruins of the Acropolis, and I was amazed to see how advanced the civilization was thousands of years ago.

To walk the same streets as Plato and Socrates did, long before the times of Christ, is amazing. After all, it was the Greeks that gave the world its first representative republic.

They had an advanced system of governance in which the populace ruled but the rights of the minority were protected, they even had an early form of free speech where all male citizens had the right to speak on any topic regardless of their wealth or social standing. This is a tradition we have proudly expanded upon here in the United States with our right to freedom of speech which is extended all peoples.

I came home with a new thirst to learn more about democracy, art, philosophy and I quickly realized I had a lot to reading to do.

Thank you Northern Kentucky Chamber for providing us with such a great educational opportunity. It was great to travel with people from Northern Kentucky some of whom I had known for years and others who became new friends.

The trip was reasonably priced at $2,800 per double occupancy, which included: Airfare, meals, and lodging for nine days and seven nights. Our tour guides were excellent and overall accommodations were nice given the rate we paid.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce offers an annual trip, and next year they are going to Spain in November.

If you or someone you know are interested in the trip, I encourage you to learn more and contact the Northern Kentucky Chamber.

Senator John Schickel (R-Union) represents the 11th District in Boone County. He serves as chairman of the Senate Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee.  Senator Schickel also serves as a member of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee; Judiciary Committee; Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Judiciary.

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