The Desert that Flourishes
Having spoken of fraternity as an ark of peace, I now want to take inspiration from a second image, that of the desert which surrounds us.
Here, in just a few years, with farsightedness and wisdom, the desert has been transformed into a prosperous and hospitable place. From being an unapproachable and inaccessible obstacle, the desert has become a meeting place between cultures and religions. Here the desert has flourished, not just for a few days in the year, but for many years to come. This country, in which sand and skyscrapers meet, continues to be an important crossroads between the West and East, between the North and South of the planet: a place of development, where once inhospitable spaces supply jobs for people of various nations.
Nonetheless, development, too, has its adversaries. If the enemy of fraternity is the individualism referred to above, I want to point to indifference as an obstacle to development, an indifference which ends up converting flourishing realities into desert lands. In fact, a purely utilitarian development cannot provide real and lasting progress. Only an integral and cohesive development provides a future worthy of the human person. Indifference prevents us from seeing the human community beyond its earnings and our brothers and sisters beyond the work they do. Indifference, in fact, does not look to the future; it does not care about the future of creation, it does not care about the dignity of the stranger and the future of children.