14 April 2019
Four years have passed since Astrid from Casa La Spona, the Centre in Pederoa that welcomes children and young people born with Trisomy 21 syndrome, more commonly known as Down's syndrome, worked with us.
Four years is a very long time, it is the time that it takes, almost, to finish a secondary school, it is the time that passes from one Olympics to another, it is the time that it takes for a tree to bear fruit. So, four years after our first experience with Astrid, Casa La Spona contacted us to start another collaboration and Diego was presented to us, he also, as Astrid, born with the Trisomy 21 syndrome.
Our civilisation is based on the concept of homologation. As a matter of fact, to be integrated you have to be like the others. It sounds absurd but it's the truth. So, when we are growing up we want and almost have to be like everyone else. Same shoes, same watches, same phones, nobody wants to be out of the gang, out of the group. We live without really understanding it, in an eternal search for homologation, standardisation.
Diego is different from what we have coded as normal. But what does normal mean? Is it normal not to talk to anyone except through social networks, mobile phones, e-mails? Is it normal that I send an email to my colleague who is two metres from me to inform him of something? Is it normal that if I go on a train journey I look at a screen instead of outside the window? Common places, we are full of common places.
Diego is not commonplace, Diego is happy with what he does, and he appreciates what he does, as a unique and unrepeatable act. Diego arrives at our office, greets everyone present, puts his coat in the closet and gets ready. He wears a tie, a gilet and makes himself available. He has some small jobs to do, such as preparing envelopes, arranging flowers and other things. All the things he does, he does with love, sweetness and affection. Diego is always happy.
Diego is happy because he does not apply the categories of "different", of "I want to be like others". Diego teaches us the sweetness to be as we are and to love each other. And to love. Diego is attentive and listens to you when you talk to him and when he sits at the table with us, he does not take out his mobile phone, he eats and watches the world around him, without being distracted by a screen. He has a mobile phone that he uses to inform me that he has taken the bus and that he is on his way to La Spona, he uses the mobile phone as a means not as a filler-thinker. We are lucky to have Diego with us: he teaches us every day that the value of categories is in ourselves, and that this parameter is not and will never be the rule; "different" is a word that has value only in function of what we think. Diego is unique. And he teaches us that the only diversity that makes sense is that we are all different, because we are all unique and unrepeatable, as Diego is.
Valerio, front office manager and guest relations