“Every era has its own illness, which corresponds to another one within the ethical field, but they perhaps are the same”
– “Scorciatoie e Raccontini”, Umberto Saba
27th January 2020, Cesano Boscone (MI)
“I hope you get the Coronavirus”
These are the words a fourteen-year-old Chinese boy was offended with, during an amateur football match, by one of his peer opponents. Heavy words, words that, once again, are being lightened as something pardonable, for they were uttered by someone who was, in the words of the President, very young, caught by over excitement and enthusiasm for the match.
In a society where diversity is constantly being extolled, though it contemporaneously reckons that events as the one just described are at the very least “acceptable”, it would seem that the sole thing capable of reuniting us all is its exact opposite: the hatred for anything that is extraneous to us, would it either be addressed to a foreign person or to specific choices which do not fall within Italian mores.
Bias, stereotype, cliché are diseases widely diffused within our millennium and, despite the numerous campaigns and protests conducted throughout the years in order for them to spread awareness, above all amongst the youngsters, these ones result to be more and more uninformed and tend to believe in whatever they are told. We always need to find a scapegoat towards whom it is always appropriate to dump all our intolerance and rage. In the last month, in particular, the focus has been on the illness hailing from the Chinese city of Wuhan, COVID-19 or novel coronavirus, which is now spreading more and more scaremongering. As a consequence, all those Asian people currently living in our country tend to be isolated, despite not being actually carriers of any virus at all.
This is a further confirmation to the fact that yet, ignorance sadly represents the new mal du siècle, rampant within extremely developed countries such as Italy or, generally, Europe.
What shall we do then?
A possible solution comes from Dostoevskij’s novel “The idiot”.
“Beauty shall save the world” claims Prince Miškin.
Perhaps then, we should all attempt to pursue his advice and seek beauty even and mostly within diversity. This would enable us to have newer and newer suggestions and to discover unknown nuances in our otherwise monochromatic existence.