Dear President Obama,
A few days ago your words filled the air of Milano, the town where I live.
You gave an interesting perspective about technology; about the impact it is having on our children’s future. You spoke about healthy food and waste.
And then you spoke about immigration, about refugees who suffer from food shortages because of the climate change and how this has an impact on unemployment.
“I am certain that this is part of the problem that instigates radicalization and terrorism in many countries of the Middle East and South Asia. If many young people are unemployed they will channel their energies in an unhealthy way.” These were your words. I read them three times. It was hard for me, as a parent and as an educator, to believe that unemployment can be claimed as one of the causes of terrorism. It was against the values I was raised in, against all my credos; to delude oneself into thinking that a person can arrive to the point of killing somebody else simply because he himself does not have a job.
Dear President Obama, we cannot encourage the future generations in the belief that everything revolves around a job, material needs, and money.
Yes, we need these things. Food and work should be universally granted rights.
But life is complicated, and sometimes you can be unemployed, and maybe even without any food in the fridge, due to an economic crisis period or a war.
But none of these conditions can be used as a justification for killing young people in a disco, putting a bomb in a bus or throwing an airplane into the Twin Towers.
Most of the terrorists who shook our world with their heinous crimes were not unemployed or hungry. In fact, some of them were educated people, educated under a Western point of view. And extremist Islam too.
In Middle East, South Asia and Europe, people channel their energies in unhealthy way, simply because no one is nourishing their souls in a positive way.
Our society is a big ideological vacuum, where violent ideologies are free to burrow their roots. We don’t provide young generations with real values. We are trying to nourish only their bodies, and maybe their culture, sometimes. Yet we are neglecting their souls. This is the reason why youngsters run towards harmful ideologies as they grow up. Human beings are made of flesh, and a soul. Of body and spirit. We need to nourish both of these dimensions.
New generations are hungry for values; they are thirsty for life’s principles and goals.
If you wish for real human progress, you cannot deal only with the material aspects of life. You can give a person millions of dollars, but if you deprive him of a goal, of an objective to run for, he will be the emptiest person in the world, ready to be filled with good or evil.
We should do our best to provide a healthy education to every individual. This goal, this directive, depends on you. It depends on all those who can change our world.
It is not climate change that makes people turn to terrorism. It is not dry fields. It is dryness in education, in values.
We must provide them with moral food too.
Gheula Canarutto Nemni
P.S. You mentioned that activists need to propose pragmatic solutions. If you are interested, I have them ready for you.