With the enthusiasm experienced during World Youth Days in Krakow, thousands of young people have returned home with a soul full of pictures and of many colors, teachings and proposals for their lives, which they will remember forever. A path of spiritual growth has been traced for young people. If they make it their own, as it will certainly happen, considering that the Pope touched on important topics, it will be fruitful not only for their future, but for all people of good will.
A new seed was planted on the Campus Misericordiae in Krakow, because the WYD this time, in my opinion, has not attracted only young people. Lived during such a complex and difficult time, it was a true opportunity to shake the consciences of many young people, seized by an unnatural paralysis with disturbing consequences. The Pope said: “In life, there is another kind of paralysis, which is far more dangerous and often difficult to identify. It often costs us a lot to recognize it. I like to call paralysis a situation when one confuses happiness with a sofa! Yes, we believe that to be happy we need a good couch. A sofa that will help us be comfortable, quiet, and secure. A sofa, like the modern ones, with massages to sleep better included in the price, which ensures us quiet hours to spend playing video game or in front of our computers. A sofa against all pain and fear. A sofa that will allow us to feel locked in the house with no struggles or worries. The ‘sofa happiness’/’kanapa-Szczescie’ is probably the silent paralysis that can ruin us more, which can lead more teenagers to ruin.”
Are we sure that this temptation of comfort only concerns young people? We can find the same generalized sleep also in the adult world. The Pope adds: “You, I ask you, I ask you: do you want to be asleep, dazed, and stunned young people? Do you want others to decide your future? Do you want to be free? Do you want to be awake? Do you want to fight for your future? You’re not particularly convinced… Do you want to fight for your future?”
Commitment for the future, the Holy Father had to repeat the question a second time, and this is the sign of no-confidence of youth. It is their fault? Certainly not. Adults have done everything possible to deny them a future. We think the world of education, which should be generative of the future, but which can be if education does not match then an adequate job opportunities? The twenties, the thirties and even forties, they do not think Italy as a country where to live, or rather, to put down roots. Out of work, as you can think of starting a family? We contest all, with our paralysis of values, the formation of a world in which the plan of life is stuck on the immediate and the relative. I believe that, at this historic moment, it is mainly adults, the rulers, the men in “power”, which should rebuild, together with young people, a sense of future for the world.
On our commitment for the future, the Holy Father had to repeat the same question for a second time, and this is the sign of the young people’s lack of confidence. Is it their fault? Certainly not. Adults have done everything in their power to deny them a future. Think of the world of education, which should be generative of the future, but how can it be so if education is not followed by an adequate job opportunity afterwards? The twenties, the thirties and even the forties do not consider Italy a country where to live or settle. How can one start a family without a job? All of us have helped creating this situation, with our paralysis of values, the formation of a world in which the plan of life gets stuck at immediate and relative things. I believe that, at this historic moment, adults, rulers, men of “power” are the ones who should rebuild, together with young people, a sense of future for the world.
Then, the Pope went on: “Dear young people, we did not come into this world to “vegetate”, to be comfortable, to transform life into a sofa where to fall asleep. On the contrary, we came here to leave a sign. It is very sad when one goes through life without leaving a sign. But when we choose comfort, confusing happiness with consumption, then the price we pay is very, very high: we lose freedom. We are not free to leave a sign. We lose freedom. This is the price. And there are many people who want young people not to be free. There are many people who do not love you, who wants you stunned, dazed, sleepy, but never free. No, not that! We have to defend our freedom.”
These words are so inciting, constructive, and pedagogically good. They cannot be left only to the young people of WYD, we should make them our own, because we, adults, have lost the meaning of leaving a “sign” of true freedom, for an identity intended as root and memory. Young people can and should draw on this to become stronger thanks to belonging.