This is a concept that seems to me to be present in the minds of the Ukrainian people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
By the type of person I am, I have always done a bit the same: I am not happy if I do not share, do not offer or do not give.
The big difference, however, is that I, in Italy, believe I have and have had more of what people have here.
More than once in Italy, during lazy afternoons, I offered food to those who needed it, but here two women who sold food on the street, once in the center and once in this district, have brought me fruit, without accepting the money I offered. And in a fraction of a second, a battle was born within me in which I did not know whether to accept or not. But I accepted because I saw that they were doing it with the heart and not just to ask for money.
Being here, I opened my mind and heart more. Seeing so much generosity from those who do not have, I wondered why I am so selfish not to do more.
I can explain myself better with a practical example: in Biella, my hometown, I helped those who knew I needed help, knowing those people perhaps for years, even if only having met them a few times. I started, so to speak, to join the group, after meeting a person belonging to that group, so I could learn more about the stories and help as I could. And I never dared to help anyone directly, who I didn’t know. Here, instead, influenced by the generosity shown to me by acquaintances and not, I did something concrete for the first time.
I would like to point out that I tell it not out of pride, but to make it clear how much I have changed and how much this country has changed me: I was in a pizzeria eating with a friend and in a table next to us there was a homeless person with a glass of water in front of him that was brought for free by a waiter. We had our pizza in front of us: big, appetizing and steaming. And at that moment I really realized how unfair life is sometimes and how heartbreaking it is to see at your side someone who doesn’t have, while you have. And especially if it’s food. So, without even thinking about it, I called a waiter and asked him if the man had ordered something to eat, and to his “no” as an answer, I turned around and put on the table half of my remaining food, on a plate.
That man’s eyes were like a punch in the stomach for me because they were a thank you, but inside me, I felt bad knowing that who knows how many other times I have not done such a gesture. I know that it is the drops of water that fill a vase. I know that life is unjust. I know that those who have always want more, and those who have not to remain silent and watch. So I can not understand the selfishness of people, me first, who are silent to watch, entering a store without considering people out to ask for money to feed themselves or those they love, and after coming out with packages full of double clothes, triple, which maybe do not even use.
I don’t understand people’s selfishness when they judge who is on the street saying phrases like “why don’t you look for a job” when they don’t know the situation for themselves.
But I noticed this more in Italy, where I have not heard anyone talk about how lazy and idle people are and do not want to start looking for work. And I hope I don’t hear it again because no one has the right to speak if they don’t know a wide range of people in that situation.
Obviously, as for everything, you have to start from the small, to get to a situation that can be defined as “decent, livable”.
Speaking of me, I can say that I have started, although I can do much more. I hope that this will spread more and more and that each of us will do internal reasoning and that this idea of selfishness that corrodes us will go away. Do we really need everything we take? What can we do for those who don’t have it?
We open our hearts, we open our minds and above all, we open our eyes to see what we can do for others.
After all, a man who falls gets up more easily if there are so many hands that meet him. Am I the only one who believes that?