To be finally at home is a sweet and clear sensation, for me as – I am sure of it – for all of you. Feeling at home, however, does not require living in defined family spaces, to necessarily find objects, perfumes, and memories in which to get identified, it does not require to live in one’s comfort zone.
‘Home’ is a place of the soul where you can live well, where you can serenely express your potential and talents, a space where you can find that energy made of friendship, of brotherhood, of will to be on the side of good… that bright force that I do not feel rhetorical, if I call it by its name: ‘love’.
Well, it is the sixth year that, close to Christmas, I am ideally taking a pen and paper, and it is the sixth time that I am finally feeling at home addressing you, fellow travelers, volunteers and friends of the Foundation that bears my name.
The house I am entering, the family I am embracing, has become as big as the world surrounding us. The Foundation has grown exponentially; that living laboratory – that thanks to all of you we are going on expanding and developing – is so large that this very moment at ABF’s home, it is day but it is also night, it is winter and yet it is also summer, and the Holy Christmas that you are living and that we are living, has very different traditions, symbols and ways to honor it.
This consideration on the one hand gives me vertigo, but at the same time gives me strength, even euphoria, because it is proven proof of how there is no unattainable dream, if we are many to dream it, if we join forces…It is good for life tout court: ‘together’ is the magic word. And together we are preparing for the New Year with renewed momentum and commitment. Together, with the common denominator of making the world a better place, in that house that has a little plaque on the door referring to my name, but that, I am never tired to say, could ideally be the name of each of you.
The past year has been a crucial one for the Foundation. May be I wrote it also last year, and may be even the year before. And yet, every time, to tell about it is urgency and a fact. In Haiti, but in Greece, and also in Italy, projects that you know well, have expressed their positive strength and have meant for many people, empowerment, education, health, home, future.
Probably, while you are reading, I will be flying to Tuscany, from the United States where I have spent most of the month of December and where, in Miami, I had the pleasure of having, next to me, the enthusiasm, the joy and the skill of ‘Voices of Haiti’ choir, in the course of some events aimed at promoting ABF’s philanthropic activities and fundraising.
Even in New York the Foundation has been at the center of various important events. For instance, on Monday 11th in Times Square, ABF name was written on giant screens with pictures of the new awareness campaign in favor of our projects.
In the heart of the Big Apple, at the Nasdaq, that day twinned with the Foundation, I had the honor of opening the stock exchange day, symbolically giving way to bargaining in the headquarters of the global stock exchange. And it was also an occasion to softly suggest the operators, while transferring money and making decisions that affect the entire world economy, to maintain a place in their heart even for those who have little or nothing, but fully deserve a life of dignity and hope.
At the same time, as you know, a bomb exploded in Manhattan, fortunately without causing victims. An attempted terroristic attack that has bitterly underlined a constant of the troubled times we are experiencing.
This concomitance confirms and, if possible, further strengthens, in me, the desire to join forces and courageously, all together, pursue good. The reality of ABF, alive thanks to each of you, is the best testimony we can offer, so as to spread the optimism and the certainty that every woman and every man possess such positive qualities as to make miracles, every day, on earth.
‘Be not afraid!’ reads a famous warning by Pope John Paul II, an enlightened spirit that I had the privilege of meeting…Still thanking you for the trust you continue granting to ABF, and embracing all of you, in our mutual home where every day we work to realize our mission at best and restore beauty to the world, I would like to greet you evoking the warning of Saint Karol Wojtyla wishing you a Merry Christmas, followed by a year full of serenity, enthusiasm and satisfactions.