Back in 2015, I had just returned to my hometown after a period of study away. In that year the refugee emergency broke out in Italy. So, I took the opportunity to offer my support in welcoming asylum seekers and refugees who landed on the shores of my country. It was an experience that changed my life. I saw the reality that surrounded me with different eyes. I understood that from extreme necessity can arise a great reaction force that leads you to grasp life, and choose to live it in a simple way, realising that we are the ones who make it complicated in the first place. So, when I decided to move to Scotland, I took that experience with me and after some time, in the middle of the pandemic, I felt again that I would have to take that path that I had left off by applying for the vacancy offered by with YOU.
In the last 10 years, I managed to visit different places all over the world and, although I love to lose myself in nature and connect with its beneficial energy, I have always been fascinated by exploring the cultures and traditions of the places I go to, trying to talk to locals and live their experiences with empathy and thus cultivate my curiosity. One way I like to create a connection between the people I meet and my inner world is through music.
Music is more than a hobby for me, it is a world where I can explore my ability to express myself and release my energy.
I remember a couple of years ago, before the outbreak of the pandemic, I left with my partner on a trip to Asia, and on one of our stops in the Philippine Islands, we met a gentleman who ran a fantastic club where there were beautiful vibes and who liked to play bongos. So, after a chat, I spotted half-broken drums on the side of the stage and invited him to play with me. We were joined by other people and even staff members who participated in that amazing jam with whatever they had in hand. We smiled a lot that night and communicated our emotions without any words. We got close through music, and we didn’t need anything else to convey what we were feeling at that moment.
So, I can surely say that curiosity and empathy are therefore two important aspects of who I am but, to establish contact with others, I think is essential to place yourself in a listening attitude too. I believe that taking care of others cannot disregard this approach. In fact, it is like embarking on a journey into a universe outside our own, a journey that requires patience and an attitude of openness purged of barriers and prejudices. We should reconsider the idea of passivity in a positive perspective in which we let ourselves be crossed by otherness and let the other resonate in us, in our cavity, so that we can grasp their “being”. Thus, the other leaves a trace of themselves in us through their experience, their stories but also through the “unsaid”, that incredible language that is expressed when the voice makes room for silence.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the wonderful team of St Leonard’s service and to be able to actively support those who, despite the difficulties have managed to find the strength to believe in life and to believe in us.