A breath of humanity

Publish date 08-07-2023

by Gian Maria Ricciardi

Covid fades, fortunately, but the fog has remained in the heart: a lot. He is captured and touched in many aspects of everyday life. He can be read on the white coffin of that child overwhelmed and suffocated by the sea in Crotone. They wrote it, they said it, they repeated it. However, there was no strong outcry of protests around.

Yet that "acronym" branded our sudden lack of humanity, is the evaporation of our sensitivity. Of course, perhaps, there was no other possible choice: there was no name, there were no parents or even relatives who could talk about that tattered life a hundred meters from the beach. Sure, the investigations will run their course (and thank goodness like in Bergamo). But that acronym, the silent homage and the gentle strength of the president Sergio Mattarella are proof of our confused heart. The numbers engraved on the white coffin, in the ghostly building of Crotone, recall others, many others. They bring to mind the numbers of deportees to concentration camps, the coldness of the walls that some still want to build in Europe, the fences on the Balkan route, the initials of the boats of despair. In Europe, however, there has not been a reaction of genuine indignation. We have the most armored and clouded hearts.

Yes, Covid has hurt us. Dissatisfaction permeates a large part of daily attitudes: when the bus is late, like when booking exams at the ASL has biblical times. Donations, offers and aid have decreased. There is a flare up at the outbreak of war in Ukraine after Putin's invasion or after the apocalypse of earthquake victims in Turkey, then nothing or little. In Iran they poison female students; in Russia they "re-educate" children by the thousands and remember our fascist Saturday; in Ukraine there are women raped, but they are distant stories. Sometimes, when you watch certain talk shows, it feels like you're back to the terrible old principle: primum vivere, deinde philosophari.

There is a dense fog that holds back our hands and natural impulses, when we could intervene, or inexorably reduces all the voluntary groups which, as a social network, have supported the changes, the dramas, the gaps in society, now decimated even they are waiting for reinforcements from the pandemic. It is enough to cross Italy several times, as happened to me recently, to crystallize small, seemingly insignificant gestures that say of a society no longer "we", but increasingly "me". It's the great private escape.

Neighbors are trampled on; you mistreat many people; affections and even memories are left to suffer. We run away because, under the radar, Covid has given us a pinch of fear of existing! You run away and kill (even with words) the freedom of others, their affections, tears (you don't have time to see them!). It is fuge, as the fathers of the Church wrote. But in this way you no longer see anything but yourself, salvation, a landing place, an island, your breath. They, in fact, added: silent, quiet. We do not. We did the opposite: we just run away. It is the opposite of what happens with flour which, when processed, gives bread. Sensitivity or a part has been lost, at home, on the street, at work, at school, in political passion, in meetings. Even Meloni upside down is not as acceptable as the violent processions of anarchists.

Covid has managed to get us into the doubt of fear: a wave that needs to be stopped. We need to erase three years of suspicions, fears, mistrust, wrong policies, communication knavery: a mentality of fear of the different that has poisoned our lives, but will not overshadow those of our children. "Knock, it will be opened to you", but hearts must first be purified. To dissolve the fog, a breath of humanity is enough.

Gian Maria Ricciardi

Np Aprile 2023

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