On a human scale

Publish date 26-05-2024

by Max Laudadio

I lived almost twenty years in Milan, the city of fashion, innovation, skyscrapers; of multiculture­lità, of novelties in every field and also home to the next winter Olympics. Milan is everything and has everything. Dozens of theatres, cinemas, discos, restaurants and pubs; but also art galleries, cultural centers, shops, supermarkets, as well as subways, two airports, ring roads, and everything that a man would never be able to use or visit in a single lifetime.

If you get overwhelmed by Milan, however, you risk no longer knowing what it is. who are you. When I decided to give up, replacing this fre­netic city with tranquility of a small mountain town, I hadn't yet truly realized what it had deprived me of. And I'm not just talking about the blue of the sky or the goodness of of the air I breathed; or even simply the colors of nature that are different in every season; I'm talking about friendships, real encounters, sincere exchanges. I'm talking about the difficulty to develop that social friendship so desired by Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli tutti.

The big city offers services but complicates relationships, creates distrust in those you don't know and fear in those who are familiar with it. different. It enchants with its opportunities but it's also the origin of unfair competitions. He protects the clever and often disappoints the honest. But the most serious, it's that the big city he has no time to waste, and this in love, the main driving force of friendship, even social friendship, is a huge limit.
I don't want to say that Milan has become only the homeland of selfishness or personal interests, I just believe that big cities, with all they show off, risk underestimating the real needs of the world. of every single human being, directing them towards a selfish lifestyle.

Beauty and profitability of a skyscraperhas value if none of its tenants know each other? How can you don't talk about social drama when a wonderful bridge that crosses the city does it also become the roof of dozens of people who sleep under it? Human relationships are not created with majestic works, but with simple proposals of dialogue, listening, meeting and subsidiarity, capable of overcoming the inequities that characterize our life. And often the city he forgets.

The first time I entered the bar in the small town where I live now, I left dazed. Everyone present wanted to meet the new arrivals. I immediately understood that there ties between people were customary; everyone knew everyone else's life, for better or for worse, no one would ever be able to hide, even voluntarily. As the days, months and years went by, with the habits that became daily and with the same people in front of me, I realized that simplicity of that reality enriches my soul infinitely. The priorities that I was chasing in the city little by little they began to disappear, leaving room for the desire to get to know and deepen those new simple friendships.

Time has made me understand that the difference in origins, habits, lived experiences, level of education, social status, and everything that seems to be able to create distance between people, ultimately they have no value in front of the uniqueness of every single human being. Here social friendship finds fertile ground, it becomes normality, desire, aspiration and life.

We need places where belonging wins over appearing, where sharing prevails over conquering, where receiving is until­nimity to give. Of course, no place is perfect, but there are many where we start with ONE, and where that one is US.

Max Laudadio
NP April 2024

This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Click here for more info