When you happen to meet people that belong to your personal or your community’s collective consciousness, curiosity is heightened and you are almost embarrassed when that curiosity resembles indiscretion and takes on quasi morbid notes.
Thinking back on how I met Simonetta Agnello Hornby and George, her son, the meeting appeared as very normal at first. Normal in an extraordinary kind of way, because what Simonetta and George are doing – a journey in Italy tracing back their origins – is amazing since George has Multiple Sclerosis.
What impressed me the most was the courage and will manifested in regards to negotiating such a tough journey. These are qualities that were never exhibited and complacent – Simonetta and George were instead natural, spontaneous, aware and serious. Two people, totally devoid of rhetoric, embark on an experience that stands as an example and inspiration for others: this is a way to observe on one’s condition differently, fight it, and never give up. Their feat can also teach others how to relate to what – my friend Giovanni Battista Pesce taught me to call – ‘people with disabilities’, rather than “disabled”.
I can’t thank this strong mother and her sweet son enough for spending a few hours with us in the company of fellow humans.
If you want to follow Simonetta and George’s journey, a segment on RAI3 will air in September.