by Davide Chirulli, CARP Italy
“If the mountain doesn’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain”. With this motto, it can be summarized the initiative that we, me (Davide Chirulli) and Valerio Tammiso, two of the CARP responsible in Italy, that decided to undertake a Rally in each of the nation’s communities. The aim of this tour was to meet every youth, (at least as many as possible) active or not, elder or younger, near and far alike, without making any distinction, and totally investing time and energies. The purpose of those meetings was precisely to see how all these people have been doing, both in their social life, school, job, etc., and also in regard to their life of faith, their vision of the community, and their family relationships.
Each of them answered in very personal and diverse ways to this initiative, but in any case, in a positive one. We had many experiences with these young people, many of whom we practically had never met before, or others who we had lost sight of, due to distances, time or their moving away from the Movement. Despite all these factors, though, the feedback was always positive! Actually, many of those who, unfortunately, due to different reasons, were not attending anymore or didn’t find opportunities to contribute, expressed on their own initiative, the will to reconcile and to have more participation. Following many sharing with these youths, talking about the past and going forward to the future, discussing about our Movement and Its situation, we reached the conclusion that each one of us (as young people) feel that we belong to this reality or background, and that each one of us, thanks to this origin, has inside himself or herself memories of very important moments, experiences and relationships. The difficulty is always to be able to live truly according to the basic Principle that have been bequeathed to us; this is never easy, rather is a challenge we need to face every day (I am referring here to the young people, knowing well though that is not easy for anyone). In particular this becomes not easy if you cannot find support at the place in which you expect to find it (in this case the community or even the family). Indeed, one of the things that “afflicts” the young people is the lack of unity, empathy and support from the community or the families. For this reason, many perhaps lose interest in participating or even hope towards Movement. However, thanks to this tour, we understood that, despite the situation might appear with little hope, in reality there is much hope! Or at least there can be!
Knowing these youths, me and Valerio realized how much potential lies in each one of them, how much sentiment and sensitivity can be found in the Heart of these young people. Unfortunately, due to many misunderstandings, disagreements, and particularly criticism (coming from one part or another), some kind of indirect separation was created between we 2nd generations (youths) and those who are 1st generation (the parents). Maybe is not present everywhere and in each person or community, but it is a factor that must not be underestimated. As just said, this lack of empathy is something that we young people feel a lot and it is what pushes someone to detach or give up.
Unfortunately it has happened already to many in the past, and it is something that can likely happen again, but at the same time, it is something that we can prevent and solve.
Everything revolves around RELATIONSHIPS. To solve this problem we need a true unity, between youths, between young people and adults, and between adults and adults, because there is a lacking in all these levels. Right, it is not easy to get along with everyone, but if we don’t try to really understand the other part, it is impossible to create this unity that we strongly talk about. We, young people, need the understanding of elder members and, at the same time, elder members need ours.
The hope of my part and that of Valerio, is that each one of us becomes aware not only of his/her personal situation, but also thinks about that of the “neighbor”. As if to say, please parents or elder members really try to understand the doubts and fears of young people, and help them cultivate their amazing qualities, guiding them with Love. And please, younger members of all ages, try to understand the Heart of your parents or elder members. Yes, often it is difficult, but none of them wants our defeat or decline. Don’t be afraid to take initiative and offer yourself, because everyone is ready to support you. Valerio and I can confirm this to you, because it is thank you to all these support that we were able to became what we are and to put this whole project into action. Because things can improve, if we stay all united and we support each other.
Many have been the experiences in this tour, experiences that have left us so much in our Hearts. Thanks to each community, we were even able to organize different events: cultural, musical, educational, etc…., with incredible results from the first moment!
This Rally project started the 1st of February, and saw Rome as the starting stay. As in every community we visited, we met one to one as many youths as possible, in order to understand their situations, and to figure out what message to give at the Sunday service we gave at each stage of this journey.
In Rome, we could organize a fantastic event on Japanese culture (a big thank you to all the Japanese mothers for their help), with different designated stations, like the writing one, the origami one, and the tea ceremony one. And to conclude, a lot of homemade sushi!
Then, we ascended the peninsula towards the families scattered in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, experiencing many pleasant moments with the young people and the parents, until reaching the next community, Padua.
In Bergamo, we held a board game evening with cine-forum too, this time watching the Oscar winning movie “The green book”. Everything was held in English, to make the whole event a more a cultural one.
There in Padua, we organized a “Cake contest”, together with cine-forum, watching the movie ” The Hundred-Foot Journey”. A sweet and pleasant evening, rich of beautiful moments.
During the time we spent in Milan, we could even organize a CARP concert, with the help of Uncle Emilio Asti and his ability of having good contacts. The event had great success and infused on people’s Hearts a message of Peace, Love and Hope.
Lastly, we arrived at the Turin community, where, together with the contribution of Yoshika Fratello and Arianna Aguiari, we organized, a one day workshop for all the young members of the community, trying through some activities, to create a good atmosphere, relationship and sharing between each one of them.
All these events have been very good opportunities to bring together many young people, but also a way to let CARP known outside, since in all the events a good number of guests were present, young and not, very much inspired and willing to know us more and to come back for other activities together.
To conclude, I would like to thank all the different responsible figures of the communities, like the pastor and youth leaders, but also all those who, with their presence helped to shape this project; because without the collaboration and the care that we received from all of you, we would not have been able to achieve such a result. During this rally we saw many things, many places, and met many dear people, lived amazing experiences and emotions and learnt a lot about ourselves and others. We will treasure all of this for the future.
Therefore, as the last wish to you, we invite you to never give up in the search for this unity in which we believe, because this is possible! Truly! However, only if everyone takes part in this journey, and only when we really try to understand the Heart of those around us. Indeed, there is always someone ready to give us a hand.
“It might be the case that our Heart is weak, but it is NEVER alone.”