At the end of the year 2018, many months before Covid-19, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, in his traditional end-of-the-year message addressed an appeal to responsibility. He said: “Feeling community means thinking within a common future, to be built together”. In his speech “community” meant sharing values, perspectives, rights and duties, to finally react and overcome the endemic problems of our Country: shortage of jobs, high public debt, reduced competitiveness of our productive system, deficiencies and deterioration of infrastructure, the wounds of our territories.
A year and a half later these problems, are still unsolved and, with pandemic, they’re getting even worse. Today, we have come out of the lockdown but we are not yet free from a virus still charged by too many uncertainties and contradictions, what do those words mean today? What future they provide for?
First of all, let’s stop calling it “restart”, it would be better to say “new deal”. The restart, in itself, does not involve necessarily a change, which instead the adjective “new” implies. The same change that has been talked about a lot in recent months. Local fragilities, vulnerability of the system, interdependency in the global world, economy and environment. More or less authoritatively, everyone has expressed the need for a change, both at general level and in personal lifestyles.
A different future seems to be waiting for us. Where do we start? And, above all, who is going to start?
Here we are, back to the community, the real one, made up of people and totally different from the virtual one, which the lockdown has encouraged. A community of people that doesn’t merely share generic wishes, proposals, intentions as it happens online, where the verb “we must” bounces from page to page, from article to article, exhausting itself in self-satisfied enunciations.
A generic feeling and sharing of goals and values are not enough between people who live together. Of course, they are necessary pre-requisites, but they need to be translated into consequent actions of proximity. If we firmly believe that a new common future is possible, different from today, we necessarily must be the first actors of the change, each one according to his or her own role and capacity and – consequently – with different degrees of responsibility. But nobody must or can get out or give up, because interdependence is the only remedy to our limits, both personal and collective. On its part, interdependence requires mutual trust: therefore, no more mischief and superficiality. Solidarity and respect shall be the keywords of our action.
To quote the Italian intellectual Piero Gobetti: “No change can happen if not from the grassroots, if not born in everyone’s conscience as an autonomous and creative will to innovate and be renewed”.
That’s why, to achieve the change, the new world must start from our own homes.