The following letter to the editor first appeared in Corriere della Sera on December 23, 2015.
it’s becoming more and more common for people to be amazed by simple, human gestures that we hardly pay attention to anymore since to us they are so automatic and habitual. At a hospitality center for refugees, a volunteer calls a Pakistani refugee by name, and when asked what kind of pasta he’d like and if he wants and meat or fish, the man is moved to the point of tears. A girl sends a text to ask a Bulgarian man she recently met, “How are you?” and he’s amazed that someone he hardly knows cares how he’s doing. I could go on forever with stories like this. They may be simple actions like those described above, or more heroic ones, like the Germans and Austrians who rushed to welcome refugees arriving at the border or the many people working on the Italian coast to help those arriving by boat each day. It seems like nothing compared to the enormity of the problem, but the effect of these actions is as earth-shattering to the recipients as it is insignificant and taken for granted in the eyes of we who see them happen. "
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