I am back to you after a very long time, for Easter greetings, but I am doing it with a special feeling in my heart, that is due to the extremely strong human experience I have just gone through in Haiti, right in these days.
What I have seen and lived in that place cannot be told and I will not do it. There are abandoned children, who have got nothing to eat, to drink, not a rag to wear; no one to give them a cuddle, a caress, to give them hope. There are men and women who walk under the sun, who have nowhere to go, whose only aim is to reach night and say that they have survived hunger, thirst, diseases of all kinds, mainly due to the total lack of hygiene and nutrition.
In Haiti I have seen all the good and evil that man can do: evil caused by corruption, lawlessness, by the most unspeakable wickedness of some; by the selfishness and indifference of all those who could do something and do nothing; and the good that blooms within the hands of those few who, tirelessly, give their lives to the others and do it, twenty four hours a day, with a joy and an energy, which, evidently, have their roots elsewhere.
Among these few stands the gigantic and charismatic figure of Father Rick, who with a group of young people that he himself, grew up in the Kenscoff orphanage around 30 years ago, has done and goes on doing miracles every day. He brings hope, concrete help, medical care, brotherhood and much more there, where everybody else would, hardly, survive for more than one day.
It is with this group of incredible people that my Foundation team works every day like a big family that across the ocean works hard to give the Haitian people the possibility to live a dignified life with an eye to the future.
If good means building and improving, evil means destruction, therefore it is not a fair battle, but it would not be right to surrender for the dignity of every individual who, like me, living in prosperity, aspires to feel at peace with their conscience in their world, within their own family, in a country that, far from being free from serious problems, is, however, in a condition to give everyone a minimum dignity and hope.
Father Rick smiles and asks us to believe in his brave battle and I feel I have to share his optimism. Facing such a significant example of life, in front of a hero of our times, I can only bow and promise help. Father Rick assures us that there is a real hope and I believe him, because he is a man who can see beyond, who unmistakably sees with the eyes of those who fight every day at the forefront, he smiles and he is happy.
Easter teaches us that good always wins over evil, even when everything seems lost. Therefore, let me wish you all, a happy Easter full of joy and hope.
I will spend it in a very unusual way: ten thousand meters high over the Atlantic Ocean to get back home.
In Italy I will have to tackle the recording of Aida with Maestro Mehta, and then I will leave once again, on a tour to Asia.
I know that many of you feel close to me, and this gives me strength.
Happy Easter to you all, that I hope to meet, personally, along my way, maybe for a simple handshake, which for me is, anyway always, something full of meaning.