Kindness coupled with courage means taking responsibility for one’s actions
and one’s existence in the world,
accepting the responsibility of being human.
This month we recommend a reading that I would define as “human ethology”.
In the current modes of communication, public and private, the latent aggressiveness in society often explodes in forms of violent controversy, because of the widespread idea that, in a verbal confrontation, those who assert themselves show their strength by reducing the interlocutor to silence, even raising the voice or going to the limit of the insult. This essay instead expresses a thesis in stark contrast to the previous one: the strength lies in the ability to argue, through which the controversy is defused and the discourse is brought to content by attenuating the level of animosity. Here is the meaning of the title: kindness is the virtue that best expresses the courage to open up to a real and fruitful confrontation with others.
In this book, Gianrico Carofiglio, with his sharp writing and his art as a storyteller, takes us on a journey through time and space and builds a summary of rules – or rather suggestions – for a new practice of civil coexistence. A practice that arises from the active acceptance of the uncertainty and complexity of the world while developing the tools for secular, tolerant and effective collective action. Starting from the teachings of the Oriental masters and passing through the modern political scientists, we discover a new meaning for ancient and fundamental words, first of all, the word kindness.
We recommend this book to young people so that they can continue to ask questions and have doubts and, in so doing, they may transform fear into courage; it is recommended also to teachers since the text offers a rich bibliography useful for setting up programs of civic education and civil coexistence.
Author: Anna Lacci is a scientific popularizer and expert in environmental education and sustainability and in territory teaching. She is the author of documentaries and naturalistic books, notebooks and interdisciplinary teaching aids, and multimedia information materials.
Translation by Maria Antonietta Sessa