Dialogue for peace

Publish date 01-08-2022

by Cesare Falletti

What is opposite is overcome with intelligence for something greater and deeper, which manifests itself in mutual listening.


Since I was born, at the beginning of the Second World War, we have always been on the threshold of a new war. Many have erupted, sometimes distant, sometimes closer, some have been narrowly avoided. Yet I think that there is no human person who does not fear the pain and wounds of a war and is not aware of how long it takes to cure them. And perhaps there is no one who, at the sight of the consequences of a war, is not shocked and struck by it, at least for a moment.

In his interview with Che tempo che fa, Pope Francis also spoke of war and the urgency of peace. Let's try to remember those words that are so incisive and important: "There is something like an antisense of creation, that's why war is always destruction". The man called to build and make exist soon began to destroy. We already see it in Cain who kills his brother Abel at the beginning of the Bible. War is not just a moment, mad, of hatred and destruction, the worst is that it leaves wounds that are difficult to heal.

Arriving in France, thirty years after the war, I was struck by how strong resentment against the Germans still existed in the people, while the process of a united Europe was already well advanced. And this is a stronger evil than bombing. Yet, even where there are no weapons and destruction of things, wars swarm between people, between families, between populations, which in the long run lead to more ruin than many sensational conflicts. Family feuds that last for generations. The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a denunciation of this in a literary masterpiece. Absurd and totally blind death takes innocent victims.

I found, while reading, a sentence by an important Palestinian author, a people who know something about war and its disastrous consequences, which can help us walk in a reflection that brings peace: "True peace is a dialogue between two versions: impose yours on me and I will not impose mine on you. ' Dialogue requires two different, though not necessarily opposite, versions. There is no dialogue between two people who think exactly the same way, indeed the risk is that there is plagiarism. Dialogue enriches and makes humanity progress in humanity precisely because, what seemed to be the opposite and the object of conflict, is overcome with intelligence for something greater and deeper, which manifests itself not in having the same opinion, but in the letting oneself be challenged by something that had not yet appeared and which brings the two opinions closer to the truth. Peace is born in this land plowed by dialogue and not burned by conflict.

Darwish, the author of the sentence, adds: "Everyone must have the right to tell their own story" and from the story of each one you can understand what he is saying. If there is no listening to personal history, there can be no understanding of the reason why the other speaks and acts, then one barricades oneself on one's own history and there is no way out of the conflict.

If there is a right, there is necessarily a duty, which is to listen, to accept the word as something that interests me, concerns me, and polite listening in which there is no openness and no acceptance of a wealth that is offered to me. The first to be impoverished is the one who entrenches himself in this attitude: he loses the possibility of visiting spaces and meeting that bring great wealth and is a wealth that does not ask to be defended and therefore can generate peace. In the same interview, the pope spoke of the "culture of indifference. I look away and don't touch. Or I look from a distance ». The path of peace is a great art and we all know its urgency.


Cesare Falletti

NP Marzo 2022

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