Common enemy

The newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore” reports that 34 people have died since the outbreak in Albania.
Only on June 4th two young brothers died in a town near Tirana.
They have been killed.
But not by the Coronavirus.
They have been killed by another young man.
Killed for a deadly social plague which gives no break to the wonderful Land of Eagles.

In recent months so much was said about the "common enemy" and the need to find ways to defend ourselves against this disease. We had to look for and invent a solution to face something bigger than us, we discovered the way to defend ourselves from this enemy. We have changed our lifestyles, we have learned to live with the claustrophobic feeling of the face mask and with chapped hands due to the disinfectant gel.
Albania also started to deal with this problem, imposing a curfew and activating an online self-certification service in order to protect citizens from this oppressive and frightening disease.

But another scourge scares and afflicts Albania.
A terrible evil which creeps in and wears people, their lives, their loved ones out.
It is the blood feud.
And the most incredible thing is that the solution to this "enemy" does not have to be invented, discovered or tested. The solution to blood feuds is right before our eyes and it is much easier than what we think. The solution is forgiveness, it means choosing to forgive the other and, even before, yourself.
Because stop hating spares the other but free yourself.
During the homily for the two brothers' funeral, George Frendo, Archbishop of Tirana, said: "Our nature drives us to take revenge, but our religion drives us to forgive. Forgiveness is not for cowards. Only a strong man can forgive. Jesus taught us to pray and in that prayer he taught us to say ‘forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us’. And he embodied this teaching through his example."
Here the solution is. Easy, intuitive, at hand.

Coronavirus does not choose. Coronavirus strikes without looking at where it gets.
It affects young people, the elderly and the children. Some react and defeat it. Others succumb.

The revenge chooses. The hatred settles in the bowels. It prevents you from sleeping, eating, drinking
Because silent looks seem huge weights and poke honor and pride like sharp swords.
Revenge is devious. Revenge affects those who suffer it and those who commit it. Revenge is infamous because it destroys the lives of those who should carry it out, reminding them every day that their life will never be worthy until the blood is repaid. Revenge is infamous because it destroys the lives of those who should suffer it, since they are forced to live every day on a razor's edge, without knowing whether to go out, risking of dying, or to lock themselves in the house, risking not to live.

Operazione Colomba knew the blood feud phenomenon since its volunteers have lived 10 years in Shkodra with people involved in this social plague.
The volunteers accompanied bereaved mothers who were devastated by the pain for the loss of their children.
They accompanied mothers suffering for their sons who are serving a murder sentence in prison.
They took young teenagers by the hand, promoting their growth with strange and new words that tradition hardly conceives.
With gazes and silences, they supported fathers whose guilt over surviving their children wears their present and future out.
They sang and rejoiced with strong women who try their best to make their land a better place.

The two brothers’ death also knocks on our door.
We are no longer there, we cannot send our condolences to their mother.
We cannot stand by their family who went to sleep free and awoke imprisoned in a feud which may not even have been chosen.

But we can decide to be free.
We can decide that forgiveness will prevail over revenge.
We can choose, even for those who did not have the chance.