Kindness disarms

Goodness is the only key to meet and dialogue with man.

by Rosanna Tabasso

When we started talking about goodness at the Arsenale, it took some time to understand its meaning. In common language goodness tastes of old, equals goodism and is not considered a value. The good guys are the ones who can't do anything more important, they are losers or worse still hypocrites.

Until one day, when we wanted to react against a person who had slandered us, a friend said to us: “You cannot do it! You are good. " In his reply there was the philosophy of transforming an arsenal of war into an arsenal of peace: disarming with goodness. To remind us, we built a cracked wall in the courtyard of the Arsenale with the names of the nations where we brought a sign of brotherhood and the inscription: goodness is disarming. Day after day, that writing began to speak to everyone's mind and heart and the word goodness has regained its depth. After all, it is the synthesis of the lifestyle of the Gospel, that of the beatitudes: blessed are the myths, blessed are the poor, blessed are those who cry, blessed are the peacemakers ... people who choose to live like Jesus Christ, knowing that he will have a future in which he will be consoled, will find mercy, will inherit the kingdom ... (cf. Mt 5)

No preaching, no crusade but the personal choice to testify to Jesus Christ and his Gospel through gestures, words, concrete facts. The lifestyle of the Beatitudes passes only in this way: someone believes it, despite all its limitations and weaknesses, it tries, without presumption, without feeling better than the others, with modesty, with humility. The Master, the only one for all, is in fact Jesus Christ, the Lord. It is he whom we look at by choosing goodness.

"Today's divisions come from yesterday's mistakes, lack of charity, misunderstandings, interests and fears" is written on this page of the Rule. We must all become aware of it, first of all on a personal level, because each of us has suffered something from someone and, if it does not completely dissolve it, hatred will always poison it. We all react if we feel attacked and very often at the basis of the hatred that circulates between person and person there is no real malice, but the instinctive reaction to an attack suffered. Sometimes we lose awareness of it, but it remains recorded in the archives of our memory. To choose to disarm ourselves then we must also purify our memory, retrace the past, free ourselves from what we have well buried in us.

Families often have in their memory injustices suffered, divisions, forgiveness never given ... They emerge even after years, poisoning the life of several generations. It takes very little for the siblings to divide, the parents to indulge in preferences. The book of Genesis teaches us through the story of Joseph and his brothers, sons of the patriarch Jacob, and even earlier through the story of Cain and Abel, that of Abraham and his sons Isaac and Ishmael. You must have the courage to dig into the memory of your family and make peace with the past.

It is so at every level of coexistence, even in our fraternities. Often the Gospel and testimony fall into the background, behind and by a great deal, to our wounded self, to our feeling put in the background or to any other conflict situation. Often the dislikes are stronger than the will to build together, the grudge divides us, isolates us, only I exist. This is the case in buildings, in neighborhoods, in parliament ...

We all have to make someone else pay for something, we all want to take a few pebbles from the shoe before thinking about the common good. But so we have no future! "It is not the demands that bring men together, but the goodness that makes us seekers of justice, people of solidarity". We all breathe the negative today. But complaining is not needed, protesting is not needed. Rather, it is necessary to begin to change the air and prepare a future where the good recognize each other, unite, do the impossible for the good.

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