Thursday, June 13, 2019

Italians first? No, everybody

Stories and News No. 1166
 
Once upon a time a school.
To be precise, when I say school, I mean the building, but also inside.
At least in this short story the students and their precious teachers were one with the foundations, the supporting structure, the windows and the ceiling, as well as the walls.
Walls which – it should always be remarked – are not only allowed to divide, but also to support and protect the weakest ones, not just the opposite.
Well, the previous night someone left testimony of his thought, or delirium, on the walls next to the entrance gate.
Italians first, this is the writing that children and parents saw the next morning. It would have been impossible not to see it, as it was very large.
Some of the adults commented briefly on that, some complained about the usual carelessness by the education ministry, but most tried to ignore the aggressive message.
It was certainly not a new phrase in their eyes and their ears; and it's well known. When you get used to a slogan that incessantly precipitates from above as if it was normal stuff, like rain or snow, regardless of how ignoble or virtuous it might be, it becomes an integral part of the common language.

However, that day, in front of that wall, there weren’t only adults.
In this regard, I’ll be wrong, but I'm still convinced that our greatest chance to get out of the darkest periods is that in the world there are more witnesses to our mistakes than we realize. Even if we persist in every age to underestimate them.
In particular, a group of fourth grade children was very impressed by the warning and once they reach the threshold of the classroom they decide to go along with it.
For the record, some kids stopped at the edge of the door: Jian, Oksana, Ahmed, Ileana and Rodrigo, superficially definable the exotic portion of the classroom, if only limiting ourselves to negligible trifles like the name’ singularity or the relatives’ origins.
Italians first, they thought in unison, or we should give precedence to them. No problem, if this was the rule, they seemed to say. In other words, we’re used to something worse. This is acceptable, you know? That’s okay, we’ll enter immediately afterwards. Just let us enter.
It seemed to have ended there, and it would have been so, if we weren't talking about young creatures, who are by nature devoted to surprising those who trudge behind them due to excess of prejudice, rather than years.
In fact, Giorgio, Maria, Daniela, Piero, Claudio one and Claudio two also stopped on the threshold.
Italians first, they thought more or less at the same time. That is, it’s up to us to be kind and polite first, giving priority to those who come from afar.
It seemed the right conclusion about the impasse, but other comrades eager to differentiate themselves. And, sorry, but the diversity of points of views and the willingness to
freely express them are among the healthiest innate aspects of humans, and it should be encouraged.
In this case, Sara called Saretta, Francesco known as Fra, Silvano known as Silvano, as well as Gaia, Katia and Fabio - also famous as the chronic latecomers - froze like their mates a moment before entering the room.
Italians first, they thought while crossed by sincere contrition for the continuous entries far beyond the bell. And with shared conviction they apologized publicly to their companions. Because first us, who were here before the foreigners, should be those to give the good example on how to behave. And leave to the teachers the task of being teachers.
Well, after a short time all the children stopped at the door for the most disparate reasons, when their teacher arrived.
The woman asked for explanations and as soon as she realized what had happened she rejoiced.
She smiled with sorrow and hope, the best weapons against the shouted and even legalized obtuseness.
"Come in," she said, inviting the children to step into the classroom with a delicate hand gesture.
"Italians first?" One of them asked.
No, was the answer in her look as much the words.
Everybody first.


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