There is a silent Italy in which solidarity is an urgency. And this story proves it

There is a silent Italy in which solidarity is an urgency. And this story proves it
There is a silent Italy in which solidarity is an urgency. And this story proves it

There’s a’Silent Italy. There are many “Italie” because there are many opportunities to divide. Ours is a country that proceeds in episodes, so damn important as to break us in factions and soon forget about it. We are experiencing a continuous laceration between for and against regardless, again right and left (for some time it was political and anti-political), lounge fans, social platoons, indignant and no-something. Italies that do not advance but jump from one episode to another, often fighting, usually clamoring anyway.

But there is always a silent Italy. She is not dumb but rather she speaks and does, only she does not seek out the hype. A few days ago I met a piece of it and I was impressed, absolutely impressed, by the grace with which he told what seemed extraordinary to me.

“Our story can help others to overcome the distrust that divides people.” It happens in the winter of the second Covid, while many Italy groped, that an educator noticed T. during an activity of afterschool. T. must be followed with its own care: at learning difficulties adds certain abrasive relationships with companions. It often happens that they point to his shoes because they have holes from which the big toe wriggles. Inevitably, the economic difficulties of the family fall on T., a fragile child who, in order not to break up, smiles. The new shoes arrive soon, a gift from the educator, but they are not enough to overcome all the difficulties. Which are bigger. Sometimes certain families slip away.

When Covid floods schools again, distance learning opens a window to the educator inside T.’s house. While bent over a table doing homework, behind him there is barely a skeletal kitchen, a stove and nothing else. One day T.’s mother needs the room to cook and the child moves into the “living room”: the walls with perforated bricks and exposed concrete, a pole and wire to support the veil of a curtain. From the screen you can hear the cold.

A thought for Christmas it is the caress of the educator to go and see T., to tie a relationship with her parents, to see if the “home” she has glimpsed is true. T. does not have his own room, or rather he does but it is not a room: the furniture is missing, the fixtures are missing, the floor is missing. With every word, in every room, the breath condenses.

In that house the air is so stale that T.’s mother falls ill: pneumonia and hospitalization. The educator, who is just a clean-eyed girl, loses sleep. One evening, unable to bear the thought of the cold and loneliness in which T. was sleeping, she asks her parents for help. It tells about the child who smiles to keep his teeth from chattering.

The solidarity it is not a logic, it has no reasons: it is a ‘urgency, without uncertainty. So the next day the educator’s parents are already remedying the troubles of that family that they didn’t even know until the day before. But the two of them are not enough and in turn they ask for support. And when even those who run after them are not enough, others, in turn called by others, run.

In that house as sharp and fragile as glass, thirty ordinary people look each other in the face. Some have known each other for a lifetime, others have to repeat the name several times before the group memorizes it, but everyone knows exactly what they need to do.

A month and a half: that’s a lot to remodel a ruin in a house. Those who could came to help out in the evening, after work; those who worked at night came during the day; who has whitewashed, who has moved, who has donated furniture and who has money. There are those who have made available eight workers and there are eight foreign workers – and I underline it – that, having entered the house without being able to take off the jacket, they have refused to be paid for that job. Solidarity is an urgency, I repeat.

A cake for the “new family” was the thanks of T.’s parents to the brothers and sisters who suddenly life has placed at their side to repay the darkest days. Since then they have never left, an extended family like you do in the south.

There is a silent Italy, and this is what bodes well.

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