We were left scared at the end of the first day and I think that, maybe, we all felt powerless. I will also add that, maybe, we were ashamed of the normal indifference in which we are immersed in front of so many of these situations in the world and of the guilty ignorance in which we prefer living in.
There are many situations of injustice, of violence and of human misery that are to be faced head on with authentic realism, without camouflage or ideologies.
Nevertheless, at the same time, we experimented that our heart is still capable, if justly provoked, of outrage and of being moved. Outrage in front of presumption and being moved in front of who, without publicity, helps human beings in need and who is empathic to sufferance, with tenacity and perseverance.
Taking the question Mr. Ceccarelli posed in his conference: What or who is behind this heart that is still capable of outrage and of being moved? What is behind this fragile heart that searches for a significant encounter, that searches for the truth even when falsehood has better ways of communication? What is behind this insistence and this use of energy and resources on Tonalestate and of Tonalestate as an international place of study, work and connections that does not go through mass media? Is it time wasted? As the pictorial exhibitions called us to reflect upon?
What is hiding behind all this then and what should instead emerge? And after we have met each other, gotten to know, and learned from one another, what awaits us that we cannot leave hidden and from which we cannot desert? How do we want to come (veni) and how do we want to see (vidi) after our meeting here?
We feel the necessity for change, we feel the necessity of a transition, of leaving something behind and taking on something other, as Raniero La Valle said. Will we able to do so with our sole forces? Even just being able to distinguish what to leave behind and what to keep? Will we still have the strength to fight against the middle-class indifference in which we are locked? From where will help come? Do we not feel as that girl with the empty bowl asking for it to be filled?
The first work we have to do is to recognise our own humility: I do not know everything and I am not everything, but I need to walk, as it was told to us, to meet and to be met.
We cannot be happy with some sporadic emotions in front of some sad scenes, what we truly need is a new humanity that will act in the cities of the world. This new type of humanity cannot limit itself to critique everything, otherwise it will risk creating the expanding disengagement of these days, it must be brave enough to give a real proposal and possibility of work.
Will agape have a space in this work? Another difficult word that was pronounced in this convention and that, in reality, recalls that gratuitous love for the other’s fate. Is it a conquest or is it a gift? Is it a fairy-tale, a utopia, a feeling or a real possibility of work?
Humility, agape… these surely are not the strategies and stratagems you expected Tonalestate to talk about and maybe you are not satisfied. But how can we commit, study, research, get to know, speak, denounce, and build without these two life companions? And how can we affirm the unity of all men, in fact and not only in words, without humility and agape?
The International Summer University of Tonalestate proposes, not only for ‘summer’, but all year long, an international space and path of agape, with humility, courage and perseverance, a path that wants to affirm the unity of all men, a unity that given to us for free, and that has to emerge for free, and on which we want to spend all of our energies and time.
If you also want to spend your energies and your time in this work, without wasting time I, gratuitously, invite you to work together staying in the same attendance and on the same attendance.
You have to know though, dear friends, that we are not obsessed for victory, but rather aimed at searching for that truth that renders us free.
I would like then to say goodbye with a Chinese expression to thank the Chinese students of being here and of their testimony here in Tonalestate; that expression, dàtóng (大同), wants to describe a harmonious society where everyone lives with what they have received gratuitously, and where you treat the other as a brother, in peace, as we do in Tonalestate!
I wish then you all well for the common work and, I hope, see you all next year!