PULSE: The Testimony of a United World19 April 2017
Change your heart, Change the world is the slogan of Pulse: The Meeting, the International Youth Meeting for a United World, which has gathered more than 500 youth from diverse countries all around the world. The meeting took place in the Citadel of Loppiano, Italy, on the 29th and 30th of April 2017. The experiences of fraternity, art events, workshops and forums were a true testimony that a united world is possible.
The experiences that were recitated talked about making choices by swimming against the tide and about commitments of public spirit ; experiences of young people who try ,in a small way, to make a better world around them.
Myriam from Lebanon shares the experience they lived with Syrian and Iraqi immigrants and stresses on the resentment of the Lebanese against the Syrians who did not want to welcome them. In spite of this reality, Myriam and her friends, Youth for a United World of Lebanon, wondered how they could begin to help the Syrians, and they found the answer: “We must erase all the prejudices we have of Syrians and go against the Current, against public opinion.” Being conviced with this choice, they have succeeded not only in helping these families, but also in building lasting relationships.
Beatriz from Angola condivided the experience she passed through when her innocent brother was killed by cops. With the support of the Focolare community around her, she was able to forgive the policemen and to even look into their eyes with mercy in her heart.
Jaime’s family had decided to leave their land, El Salvador, because it became dangerous to live there. But when he heard God asking him to stay, the whole family rethought of their decision and they decided to stay in the country and continue to live the Ideal. This decision created the campaign “Change your Square Meter” that was launched by the youth because, as Jaime tells, “if we all are committed to change our square meter, we would be changing El Salvador.”
The second day began with a prayer for peace by two young Muslims who were present in the meeting. The prayer was recited in Arabic on stage, while the auditorium accompanied them with a respectful silence.
After that, the participants received a paper note on which they wrote the wounds in their lives- the things that are difficult to overcome, inability to forgive a person , a situation with a lack of peace- . Then, these cards which were biodegradable were put in a container full of soil, garnished by a Cypress tree that was later planted in Loppiano as a symbol of peace.
The intervention of the psychologist Iñaki on inner peace and forgiveness was a time of discovery for so many.
In the afternoon the participants were able to choose from various workshops and forums: “Not for War”, “Social Project”, “Commitment to Peace,” “Media and Peace in Fake News,” “Peace in the Great Religious Traditions” And “Peace Education”.
DanceLab, a group of young Italian dancers, who also hosted one of the workshops, have enriched various moments of the meeting with several choreographies.
PULSE: the Meeting opened the doors for PULSE: the Event, the “Primo Maggio”, an open meeting where another 3000 youth joined the event from all over Italy. This was a witness that Peace is possible, peace is not an utopia.