Say peace

Publish date 01-08-2023

by Corrado Avagnina

Maybe we don't even notice it anymore, but the words "other" than the language of war are failing us. The terms to fully and effectively say "peace" are blurring for us. This slightly creepy distortion was strongly and acutely perceived by Pope Francis who, for the "World Day of Social Communications" in May, called attention to the urgency of "disarming souls by promoting a language of peace". An alert that fits into the suggestion to the men and women of the media to bet on a positively unsettling dimension, the one that pushes us to "speak from the heart and to the hearts of people", because only in this way can we lend a concrete hand to a " culture of peace", "opening paths of dialogue and reconciliation where hatred and enmity rage".

In fact, we met in Europe, that is, almost around the corner from home, almost suddenly having to deal with the bloody conflict unleashed by the Russian invader on Ukrainian soil. And almost exclusively the inexorable stories of strategies, tactics and military options have been put back into circulation. As if the armaments, the images of rubble, destruction, havoc were the only scenario to put on the page. Undoubtedly, from a realistic point of view, bombs, missiles, alarms, offensives, raids are a tragedy, not to be underestimated and also to be described and "covered" by the media. But we must also be warned not to give in to the risk of getting used to the daily portion of stories and images from the fronts. Of course, we must narrate the war, with no escape. It should not be hidden or minimized. But, caught in its terrible drama, war must not remain the last word. From these scenarios of death and disaster, the search for and the possibility of an alternative must rise strongly, which has only one name, demanding, but to be relaunched with force, which is that of peace. Giving space and prominence to those who bring food, health and social aid to Ukraine, favoring people in difficulty, trying to dry the tears of a tried humanity. Just as the reasoned gazes that rewrite the dynamics between peoples must be cultivated, above all in terms of peace. As the Pope reminds us: «One is terrified to hear how easily words are uttered that call for the destruction of peoples and territories. Words that unfortunately often turn into warlike actions of brutal violence [...] This is why communication that helps to create the conditions for resolving disputes between peoples must be promoted at all levels".

Corrado Avagnina
NP May 2023

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