Kahlil Gibran wrote: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are sheared with scars.”
In the world we are living in, life is not leaving us the space and the time to relate to ourselves, to know each other, to love each other, to understand each other and, especially, to open our hearts to each other.
Victor E. Frankl said: “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess, except one thing: your freedom to choose how you will respond to your situation.”
In our dear islands of Malta and Gozo, the situation we are living in changed drastically. The problem is that the Maltese people are not facing reality.
We are living in a horrible crisis of identity. Our word becomes news: positive or negative. Sometimes, we do not appreciate the value of what we say in our daily life, especially when it comes from the heart: polluted, cunningly destructive, particularly when motivated by one sided politics.
Malta and Gozo are facing a very deep cultural crisis. Where there is no culture, and even faith, there is crisis. I believe we only need power when we want to do something harmful; otherwise, love is enough to get everything done.
Albert Einstein wisely wrote: “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
When I was studying at the Salesian University in Rome, a very learned professor used to tell us: “The most poisonous aspect of our life is indifference.” In my poor opinion, that is what is happening in Malta: people do not care about values, principles or dignity anymore. We are living our faith superficially.
First, we have to learn who we really are
We need to have the courage to live with dignity and values, to fight and build our future day by day, and we need to learn to dream; to fight the devious philosophies, sometimes also pushed by our Maltese and Gozitan politicians.
We need to ensure that every feeling coming out of our heart becomes poetry for us and for others. Write your life day by day because there is need to create a positive atmosphere. We need to struggle, to grow as human beings and as Christians but, first, we have to learn who we really are.
In Malta and Gozo, we are psychologically becoming old. Our dear islands are a gift of God, blessed by the visit of St Paul who brought us the faith. A gift of God, of harmony, beauty, simplicity, history, of sacrifice and intelligence of our forefathers. But the modern vandals, including irresponsible people, avaricious, greedy for money and power, blindfolded, have decided to abuse these islands.
For William Shakespeare “no legacy is so rich as honesty”.
The love for beauty, harmony and perfection is often missing in our projects for Malta and Gozo. I fear that sincerity is also lacking because it is a very uncomfortable chair on which very few are willing to sit.
We need to know who we are before we move on. We need to understand, through our own history, how we are living, avoiding the risk of solitude. Good mental health enriches one’s life.
We must be able and willing to hear what others say. Admire and learn from others. Listen and understand the opinion of others before criticising, condemning and destroying.
Dante Alighieri wrote: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral and cultural crisis.”
I finish by asking all MPs: Why are the people in Malta and Gozo not happy anymore? They do not smile and go around with sulky faces. They do not greet you anymore. They look at you strangely. Can the people at large have an answer?
Fr Charles Cini is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco.