During the path of growth we are all looking for something that helps us to make sense of our choices and that indicates which road to proceed upon. There are experiences that illuminate this path: for me it was the Civil Service at the "Villa Sora" Institute in Frascati. It was an experience that left a deep impression. I discovered my limits, my abilities. I managed to put everything I had at the service of my neighbor and this pushed me to live all the questions of my life in a new way (...)
I started to reflect: what really gives sense to my actions? How much do fears matter? What are the essential things? I have discovered that the important thing in life isn't being tied to a secure situation and to reassuring social bonds or affections, but to find a way to express what we really are and possess, leaving fear behind, often the only one limit of our life.
The year of service did not end in a vacuum. I immediately found the opportunity to put into practice what I had experienced and learned. So I found myself in Africa teaching Italian to some fantastic kids.
In Egypt there are several cultural, religious and political problems. It can happen that a 15-year-old boy is the head of a family and has the responsibility to financially support his mother and sisters, or who face daily physical violence from strict parents or has to move for hours on public transport that is anything but safe.
But if we imagine their being desperate students, we are wrong! They feel pain and get tired like never before, but they do not lose their smile and hope. (...) We too can learn from them to take seriously what we do and to value the things that deserve it.
Looking back I can certainly be happy with the choice I made. I believe that the best way to grow is to put aside the logic of personal affirmation and competition and leave room for something we love and that drives us to love.