Normal or extraordinary?
Sunday, 13 November, about 20 young people from the Piedmont region of Italy went down to Liguria, to the region struck by flooding, and they got dirty with mud up to their chins, with smiles. The week before, while coming back from a trip, the idea had come to some of them to begin to be living witnesses in society, in order to renew it, beginning with building brotherhood. Therefore, to go and give a hand to those people different from us, but with at least two things in common: the fact that we are all humans and that we cannot make it alone....
Going from Turin, Cuneo and Genoa, they headed for Borghetto Vara, a village which has now almost vanished, and Burgnato, where instead enough was saved to give its citizens the hope and strength of starting to rebuild again. I drove one of the cars, I shovelled one of the mounds of mud, I smiled at one of those people. There were those who sorted clothes and those who cleaned vases, those who cleaned up the debris in gardens and those who rebuilt wooden boxes. A quick lunch break, warmed by the sun, sharing what we had brought, all seated on the stairs of a statue immersed in the silence of the green of Borghetto.
Sharing is the first step to building new relationships. We finished by going to Mass, even those who usually don’t attend, because it was beautiful to also do that together and to bring a smile to the priest - in need as all the others - in seeing so many youth at his Mass.
The beauty does not lie in the sacrifice made, but in the concreteness of the gesture that becomes a gift for others, that creates bonds, that brings people to smile.