Drusilla Foer’s speech at Convivio, the event that since 1985 has supported Anlaids, the first Italian association created to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS
Some time ago at a conference the speaker said something that intrigued me: «Pietas, in the Latin sense of the term». I went to investigate and discovered that Pietas was a deity who watched over the human being so that he fulfilled his moral duty. She was such an important goddess that she was present on Roman coins where, next to her head, a stork was represented which is symbolically the animal considered much more attentive to her.
Pretty. And then I feel a bit like a stork, long long, with these dry legs and these disproportionate arms…
And how many storks make up the large family of Convivio and Anlaids Lombardia, and it’s nice to see all these storks who care about certain issues that concern everyone. Storks that each carry their own share of responsibility towards each other.
Only that I like to think that the responsibility of the other is acted upon by every single stork, not only when one is in a group, but when one is alone.
Altruism, empathy, piety, these values - let’s face it – take on a sort of heaviness, that sense of duty that often has to do with the sense of guilt of being luckier than others. At least it happens to me.
And when it happens to me, I don’t like myself very much.
How you do it?
Let’s take it elsewhere.
Let’s try this, stork friends: eliminate for a moment the responsibility of the other and let’s start from the responsibility of ourselves.
From the pan to the grill.
What is self responsibility?
I believe it all starts from an investigation that leads everyone to identify their own value, their own values, their own ambitions, their own talents and to act them responsibly towards themselves.
An investigation into the things we don’t like about ourselves, working on them with responsibility towards ourselves. Educating these things that we don’t like, with the same tenderness with which a child is educated.
This training of responsibility will infect the world and each will become responsible for the other by induction. It seems like a utopia but instead it happened recently to all of us.
The pandemic has scared us all: the good, the bad, the poor, the powerful. In a democratic way it has highlighted our vulnerability. We had to deal with fear. So we put on masks for fear of contracting the virus and dying, and at the same time it was natural to put on masks to limit the possibility of infecting others.