The little ones who do great things

Publish date 27-02-2021

by Valentina Turinetto

A few months ago, Pope Francis, in the memory of Joachim and Anna, the grandparents of Jesus, addressed young people with these words: "I would like to invite young people to make a gesture of tenderness towards the elderly, especially the most alone, in their homes and in residences, those who have not seen their loved ones for many months. Dear young people, each of these elders is your grandfather! Don't leave them alone! Use the fantasy of love, make phone calls, video calls, send messages, listen to them and, where possible in compliance with health regulations, also go and visit them. Send them a hug. They are your roots. A tree detached from its roots does not grow, it does not give flowers and fruit ».

We are approaching Christmas, a party that becomes beautiful and full thanks to the possibility of being with the family and getting together all together, grandparents and grandchildren. This Christmas will again be characterized by the presence of an "unwanted guest", who seems to do everything to make us stay away and make us feel lonely. But the creativity of the little ones will surely be able to overcome borders and defeat barriers, to make themselves feel close to their beloved grandparents.

We brainstormed with the children: "If we can't go to our grandparents at Christmas, how do we make them feel that we are close?". The greediest proposed to book a pizza and have it delivered to the grandparents, to then eat it together during a video call. The home artist has thought of many drawings to print and send for Christmas Eve. The inventor suggested building a drone to send the best panettone in the world to grandparents. In addition to the unstoppable flair of the little ones at home, some organizations have also wondered about how to be close to those who will be forced to spend the holidays more alone. The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has launched a proposal to broaden our gaze towards those situations of loneliness, calling on the youngest. As in the previous months he led the formation of networks of solidarity between young and old in difficulty, at Christmas he renews the opportunity to strengthen these bonds even more: young people and children can tell about the friendships born and return the gratitude of meeting with an elderly person, recounting the encounter and what they learned from their experience and wisdom. Other associations are organizing the possibility of "making some nice surprises" for lonely people, perhaps in retirement homes, with the imagination and genuineness of children.

Before the arrival of Covid, we said that with the advent of technology in the new millennium, distances had vanished and everything was now reachable ... instead we find ourselves unable to embrace our loved ones. Once again, the little ones will teach us that a little creativity is enough to overcome borders and reach the hearts of those who need it most.


Valentina Turinetto

NP December 2020

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