December 22, 1980
December 22, 1980
At the PRÓ-VIDA Secret Santa (“secret friend”) Party
What is a friend? Who is my friend? And then everybody transformed into… semi-secret friends! Because you could be my friend, you too, you too, you too, you too… And then I began to look at a friend on the outside. But will I look at the face… If he has the face of a nice guy, he’s nice; if he has the face of bad guy, he’s bad… I began to choose friends. And how to choose a friend? At this point, we were already 14, 15… 16, the phase of adolescence.
Friend! But the word “friend” was behind, it was within. It was strong. And then I discovered the elements that I should find in a friend, who the friend should be. And I discovered a great secret friend. I want to describe my secret friend for you.
Oh my! How will I describe my friend, my great model-secret-friend! It’s difficult, it’s difficult, it’s difficult, because I don’t know his size very well. One usually describes, “My friend… he’s wearing… he’s tall, bald… He has long arms… he’s fat; he’s thin… he’s wearing such and such clothes…”
But my friend… I can’t describe him well! I believe I can describe him like this: I don’t know his size, because he is very big; so, you can’t see his whole size. I don’t know if he has green eyes or brown eyes; in fact, I don’t even know if he has eyes. I don’t know if he has a large mouth or a small one; I also don’t know if he has a mouth. I don’t know if he has long or short hair; I don’t know if he has hair. It’s difficult to describe my friend…! I don’t know if he walks fast or walks slowly… Actually, I don’t know if he walks. Oh my, how can you describe a person?
Well, Philosophy says that to describe a person, you can use the works of that person, what that person does and their representatives in the work. Then it becomes easy. This way I can describe my friend.
My friend… He has many representatives. He has many representatives here, here. One of the representatives of my friend are the ants. The ants! My friend, through the ants, teaches me to work. He teaches me to work, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, even if a wicked foot spoils the anthill. My friend teaches me by way of the ants, to work, always, even when everything is…
My friend has more representatives; not only the ants. He has as a representative the flowers. Flowers! He teaches me, through the perfume of the flowers, through the color of the flowers, through the beauty of the flowers, he teaches me that one should love the pure, pure, pure, pure, pure, the purity in all its splendor, the purity of what’s natural. Yes, my friend has a representative: the flowers! He teaches me a lot! And if somebody has already recognized, they may…
There’s more. This friend of mine has another representative: it’s the birds. The birds! My friend, by means of the birds, tells me that one day I have to reach the heights! He tells me that I can learn to fly! He talks to me about freedom, when he lets me see his flying representatives. He talks to me about heights, he reminds me of so many things when I see the sweetness of the birds! And through the birds he teaches me something that’s also very important: he teaches me that it’s necessary – even being a free bird, even… – he teaches me that it’s also necessary to struggle for survival, just like desperate seagulls fighting among themselves over a piece of garbage that comes from the vomit of sailors. Even so, there’s struggle.
My friend is this. This is my friend.
I went searching for this friend. Hard to find! But I started to see in people that “better piece” that had this and suddenly, I found one, found another, and another… and one of them said, “Look, I know somebody that also has this deep inside,” and brought, and brought, and brought.
And then I surrounded myself with friends. Friends, each one with their own specialty: some of flying, others of standing with their feet firmly on the ground, others of having the strength to fight, others who taught me prudence, others who taught me temperance… and together we went in search of Peace.
Friendship! Something noble, great, something that gives reason for my existing now! Now, now, at this instant, if I should have a heart attack or something and my heart should stop, please, don’t leave the room. Come, at least, to see the expression on my face and you’ll see that I’ll be smiling, I’ll be cheerful, I’ll be happy: I passed on the Earth and I found friends – you!
And how good to have you! How good to have you! How good to have you for that bitter hour! How good to have you for that dark hour! How good to have you for despair! How good to have you for sickness! How good to have you for health and pleasures! How good to have you! How good to have you because, above all, we can raise a flag, now, here, right now: sublime flag, glorious flag, the flag that fulfills the original purpose of man on Earth – the flag of innocence.
The boy has achieved his purposes!
To all of you, thank you very much. A Merry Christmas! A New Year, better and better than this one, because within my heart, that I want to consider a candle, you are the flame. And I offer myself as the candle, so that you, with your flame, will extinguish me. But give Light, at least for a small dark room.
Thank you very much, everyone!