The best Christmas gift, kindness

Wars, natural disasters, murders, corruption, enmities, etc., are our daily bread… according to the media. In other words, from the partial and interested point of view of the big information agencies, the world and life are a pm. The sophist Protagoras already said that “man is the measure of all things…for man”, so that from our point of view reality is what suits the human being. So, for the ants, reality is what suits them. Each one understands the world according to his point of view. It is very interesting to compare and share different points of view because that way we can get a little closer to reality objectively.

For this reason I want to share with the readers of Diario de Mallorca some stories that have to do with that part of life that is kindness. Goodness exists, good men and women exist and they have done wonderful things like the ones I am telling you below.

Charles Dickens. Through his novels, he denounced the social reality of Victorian London. He criticized the poverty and social stratification of that society. Dickens maintained an empathy for the common man. Dickens’s second novel, Oliver Twist (1839), was responsible for improvements in London’s poorer neighborhoods. Furthermore, with the character of a tragic prostitute, Nancy, Dickens “humanized” such women for readers, women who were immoral victims of the economics of the Victorian system.

“Everything that happens to you, happens to me. You cannot look at the suffering of others without feeling it within yourself. You can look or not look, but that suffering hurts you too, and when you realize it you feel responsible. And you think, what can I do?

This is how Vicente Ferrer synthesized his life and work. In 1952 he landed in the state of Maharashtra (India). He felt at home from the beginning because he was able to focus his work on “action for men rather than religious service.” There he worked with impoverished peasants, helping to dig wells, create schools and medical clinics. In 1968 he was expelled from India under pressure from local landowners, who considered his leadership a threat. The then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, allowed Vicente Ferrer to return to India. This time, his destination would be Anantapur, a drought-stricken district where only a few held the land and millions of people lived on the fringes. The local authorities recommended the evacuation of the rural population from that territory due to the lack of opportunities for peasants and farmers. When he arrived in Anantapur, he had already left the Order, “leaving God was a symbol that, from then on, my whole life was going to focus on action to be left alone with the duty of eradicating poverty in the world.” Vicente Ferrer was, above all, an idealistic man in action, characteristics that undoubtedly made him a visionary. Wherever he saw a problem, he immediately found a solution.

Juan Carrero Saralegui (Arjona, Jaén, 1951) is the president of the Fundació S’Olivar. His spirituality could be expressed in two sentences. The first of Mahatma Gandhi: “I feel like everyone’s brother and, to be happy, I need to see the smallest of my peers happy.” The second from Martin Luther King: “Jesus Christ has given me the inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi the method.”

In 1974 he decided to declare himself a conscientious objector to compulsory military service and begin to force an alternative social service. In 1995 the Foundation began to become aware of the important vacuum of denunciations and non-violent pressure that existed regarding the great and silenced genocide that was taking place in the African Great Lakes. He then felt the duty to confront this great tragedy.

In his book The Five Superior Principles, Juan Carrero explains: «Those laws of ‘another order’ that guided Mahatma Gandhi really exist. These are laws capable of producing the ‘miracle’ of the disproportionate multiplication of our small efforts; the ‘miracle’ of the multiplication of good versus evil; the ‘miracle’ of paradoxically finding our own happiness at the very moment of conditioning it to the happiness of the most helpless; the ‘miracle’ that the heaviest of yokes, the renunciation of ourselves (a burden that is greater than our own strength), becomes soft and light at the very moment in which we accept it and trust that a Force Superior help us carry it; even the ‘miracle’ that even the smallest of us all can change the course of history».

The list of good people doing good and effective things is endless. Three examples are worth to show that good always wins over evil. If it weren’t for all those noble hearts, humanity would have ceased to exist many centuries ago. This is my Christmas gift, the memory of Goodness.

The best Christmas gift, kindness