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Italy and Italians: two paradoxes solving into each other

Italian people, freedom, participation«What is wrong with this people?»
«Are they possessed by some sort of alien entity, or are they just all hypnotized?»
«Do they really care about themselves, or che sarà sarà is what they are, and this is it?»

These are some of the thoughts I envisage that are scattering within the mind of many non-Italian persons, who live in other European Countries, or spread worldwide. Maybe, among such people, there are also Italians who have been living for a long time abroad, where you possibly can forget (or partially step beyond) what being Italian means.

A large number of people, almost certainly, are wondering why a powerful Country like Italy, with a strong economy in Europe and in the world, apparently powered down its engines, loosing speed and altitude during the flight. And more importantly, it is dangerously approaching the stall, a condition in which maneuvering and controlling, that are deterministic concepts, become two unpredictable unknowns.

It might seem that we started to deconstruct our heritage and our dignity, because the captain of our flight is out of his mind. Very likely not adequate, or simply not sober enough to bring us on safely in this journey towards the future. Nonetheless, the captain of the flight did not come from another planet. He was chosen by the passengers of this very flight, the one that now is slowly falling down. This is what happens in a democracy. And since Italy is a real and solid democracy, one among the most developed ones, this is what happened to Italy.

So, why aren’t Italians doing a thing, even just a simple and small action, aimed at regaining some speed and increase the safety distance from the stall and the subsequent possible crash? The answer is straight and simple, so easy to look naive, and so naive to seem pointless: because we are talking about Italians.

A strange combination of genes, resulting in people for whom what is public can either mean that belongs exclusively to them, or simply is not worth any care, like if it did not exist. An odd attitude according to which the possibility that public could mean belonging to everyone, is the remote option rarely taken into consideration by an Italian. 

Italians are people for whom the sacrifice is important for the common wellbeing. But it is always the next in line the most suitable candidate to give up on something, to drop a benefit, to pay more taxes. Because for an Italian the law is the same for everyone and exceptions are not admitted. With the exception of themselves, of course.

Italians are people for whom it is always someone else the one who has to take hard decisions. Because it is always someone else the one who is suitably skilled, who holds the vision, the power and most of all the eligibility to do something.

Italians are extremely good people. Persons capable of helping the others, and also to sacrifice their life if it can save someone else, regardless of who that someone else is; people capable of adapting and getting used to the most harsh situations: to the pain, the sufferings and the tears.

Maybe the motivations for which Italians got used to loose altitude, day after day, without doing a thing, is that they do not feel the responsibility of other people, but just the responsibility of the collectivity, that by definition, being it public, does not exist for the  mindset of an Italian and cannot be detected.

Italian peopleA sort of transparent glass that starts to get shaded, which means visible, just when an Italian is about to crash against it. This is the context in which Italians regain the awareness of being a part of the society and of the collectivity, in which the others are not anymore something that does not belong to us, but become what they always have been, that is a part of us.

So what is the conclusion about Italians and their ability to take actions in order to avoid the crash? Does such an attitude emerge just when the disaster is approaching? So the conclusion is that an Italian takes some actions to avoid the crash just when the disaster is about to happen? Most probably the answer to this question is «Yes!», but I hope that for once in a while Italians will use their creative skills to be unpredictable and will start doing something before it might be too late.

Nevertheless, the other option is that Italians could be also so enlightened to do the opposite, which means not taking any action right before as well as after the crash. After all, when dealing with Italians, in the end it is desirable that they would behave exactly as expected, despite their action will be systematically delayed and sub-optimal. Because the alternative could be definitely worse and more catastrophic.

So, if Italians are as they are and if they behave like Italians, most probably is because they are capable of doing much worse than that.

La foto in alto a destra riproduce una vignetta di Marco Mengoli per lo Stivale Bucato -

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