Mattarella: “Season with reasons for alarm and new opportunities, making room for a culture of peace”

The message of the President of the Republic

“We know that we find ourselves in a season that presents many reasons for alarm. And, at the same time, new opportunities. We feel anguish due to the violence of wars. Those in progress and those evoked and threatened” with the “real risk of getting used to this horror.” For this reason “it is essential to make room for the culture of peace”. Thus the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, opening the traditional end-of-year message delivered standing in the Tofanelli room at the Vetrata.

“This evening we are preparing to celebrate the arrival of the new year. In the usual hope that positive and reassuring days will open. Naturally – says the Head of State – we cannot distract our thoughts from what is happening around us. In our Italy, in the world”. “We feel anguish at the violence we often witness: between states, in society, in the streets, in scenes of daily life”.

“War breeds hatred”

“War, every war, generates hatred. And hatred – he warns – will last, multiplied, for a long time after the end of the conflicts. War is the result of the refusal to recognize people and peoples as equals. Equipped with equal dignity. To affirm, instead, under the pretext of one’s own national interest, a principle of inequality. And they claim to enslave, to exploit.”

“We try to justify these behaviors – adds the Head of State – because they have always happened in history. Rejecting the progress of human civilization. The real risk is to get used to this horror. To the deaths of civilians, women, children. As happens more and more often in wars. To the tragic accounting of the soldiers killed. Mutually presented; boasting about it. Broken lives, destroyed families. A lost generation. And all this – he reminds us – happens near us. In the heart of Europe. On the shores of the Mediterranean”.

Rubble, not just physical. Which weigh on our present. And they will weigh on the future of the new generations. In the face of which – concluded Mattarella – brutality appears today, and in their possible future, that we thought had now disappeared; as well as condemned by history”.

“Peace is not neutrality or indifference”

“War does not arise on its own. Not even the push of so many weapons, which are the instrument of death, would be enough. So widespread. Increasingly lethal. Source of enormous profits. It arises from what is in the souls of men. From the mentality that is cultivated. From the attitudes of violence, of oppression, that manifest themselves. It is essential to make room for the culture of peace. To the mentality of peace”, urges Mattarella

“Talking about peace today is not abstract do-goodism. On the contrary, it is the most urgent and concrete exercise of realism, if we want to seek – the Head of State underlined – a way out of a crisis that can be devastating for the future of humanity. We know that, to put an end to the ongoing wars, it is not enough to invoke peace. It must be pursued by the will of the governments. First of all, of those who triggered the conflicts. But committing to peace means considering these wars an exception to be removed; and not the rule of the near future.”

“Wanting peace is not neutrality; or, worse, indifference, with respect to what happens: it would be unfair, and also rather despicable. Pursuing peace means rejecting the logic of permanent competition between states. Which puts the fate at risk of their respective peoples. And it undermines the foundations of a society founded on respect for people. To achieve peace it is not enough to silence the weapons. Building it means, first of all, educating for peace”. “Cultivate its culture – the President of the Republic insisted – in the feelings of the new generations. In the gestures of everyday life. In the language that is used”.

It also depends on each of us. Peace, in the sense of living well together. Respecting each other, recognizing each other’s reasons. Aware – concluded Mattarella – that the freedom of others completes our freedom”.

“No to the spread of weapons”

“The State – recalls the President – must guarantee the safety of coexistence. Even against the risk of the spread of weapons”.

Violence against women and the message to young people

So again a call against violence and abuse. “We see and encounter violence even in everyday life. Even in our country. When – states the President of the Republic – research and the cult of conflict prevail. Rather than the value of what is in common; developing discussion and dialogue Violence, I am thinking of the most hateful violence against women. I would like to address the younger ones. Dear guys, I’ll tell you in simple words: love is not selfishness, possession, domination, misunderstood pride. Love – the real one – is much more than respect: it is gift, gratuitousness, sensitivity”.

“Disoriented young people, let’s give them hope”

And the President’s thoughts go back to the children when he states that “compared to the scenario in which we are moving, young people feel out of place. Disoriented, if not strangers to a world they cannot understand; and whose progress and behavior they do not share. A disorientation – underlines the Head of State – that arises from seeing a world that ignores their expectations. Weak in countering an increasingly threatening environmental crisis. Unable to unite in the name of global development.”

“In such a dynamic society, like today’s – states Mattarella – there is an even greater need for young people. For their hopes. For their ability to grasp the new. It depends on all of us – urges the Head of State – make opportunities for scientific progress, knowledge and the human dimension prevail over reasons for alarm“.

“Respect and gratitude for the wisdom of the elderly”

However, the Head of State does not forget the elderly. “Asserting rights means listening to the elderly – he says -. Worry about burdening their families; while the welfare system struggles to give them help. You always need wisdom and experience. And to show respect and gratitude for previous generations. Who, with work and commitment, have contributed to the growth of Italy.”

“Right to healthcare for all”

And among “the difficulties that citizens and families have to face, day by day”, it is necessary to remember those that “are encountered in right to healthcare for all. With waiting lists for visits and tests, in unacceptably long times.”

“The technological revolution must remain human”

The Head of State then returns to reiterate his call on the future of artificial intelligence and new technologies. “Listening also means knowing how to read the direction and speed of the changes we are experiencing. Changes that can have positive effects on our lives. Technology has always changed economic and social structures. Now, with self-sustaining artificial intelligence , is generating unstoppable progress. Destined to profoundly change our professional, social and relational habits.”

“We find ourselves in the middle – the Head of State recalled – of what will be remembered as the great historical leap of the beginning of the third millennium. We must ensure that the revolution we are experiencing remains human. That is, inscribed within that tradition of civilization that sees the person – and their dignity – as the indispensable pillar”.