BY BELISARIO RIGHI
Photo by Carlotta Righi
Buddhist term, whose meaning is simple: alms (beg). In the Italian language the term alms refers to its Latin-Christian origin: eleemosyna, which in turn derives from the Greek eléemon (compassionate). The word is therefore full of meanings. In it there is the act of asking and of the compassion that the postulant arouses in the soul of those who hear the request, but often like so many other words, it is emptied of all its profound value, becoming a mere practice that in itself it bears nothing of its semantic meaning. In the photo, various people parade in front of the beggar and at least apparently, from different social backgrounds. On the left we see the bourgeois who seem to have made purchases from their shoppers, in the center three people of low social class stationed on the bridge, without any occupation and finally on the right a couple of wayfarers, one of whom is a Buddhist priest who crosses a woman. Undoubtedly different situations, from a social point of view, but all mute to the request of the man who reaches out into the void, in search of an offering. There is no compassion for the beggar, nor does one feel the need to give. Everyone is busy with their own problems and proceeds on their way regardless of their neighbor and their needs. Globalization and the flattening of human values has inexorably reached this part of the world as well, where human solidarity should be felt more, because the general condition of precarious well-being would impose a behavior of mutual coexistence, yet every trace of altruism seems to disappear from the actions. human. But it is not the lack of the offer that strikes us, although, at least by some of the passers-by, a small gift could be given. What makes us stunned is the indifference, the absolute lack of humanity, in not giving the poor beggar even a glance with which to warm his soul at least a little and make him feel a man among men, but above all it is the invisibility of need, the denial of the fact, better defined by Stanley Cohen as psychological denial, closing the eyes, keeping the fact conveniently out of sight, allowing something to be known or unknown at the same time. We would hope for a world with a greater sense of humanity, where selfish appetites can give way to a higher concept of brotherhood, but unfortunately few of us now know that direction and our journey leads us further and further away from human beings.