My early years spent in the countryside, my life in a farming family, left the seed and then the sprout of humanistic capitalism in my soul. Ours, my family's, was a life in contact with nature, because nature gave us everything. Indeed, we did not even have electricity, and we worked the land with animals, and collected rainwater. There was mutual respect between us and nature, and everything was done in harmony with Creation.
I understood that everything we had came from the Earth, and I experienced in this way, quite simply, the thought that the Greek philosopher Xenophon expressed many centuries ago: "All things come from earth", as I reminded the world leaders gathered for the G20.
In this harmony with the earth, there was a correspondence between what we got from our work and what we gave to our neighbour; I remember that every year, after the harvest, my grandfather would give the first bale of wheat to the community, an ancient symbol of the balance between profit and giving back, and this symbol became one of the cornerstones of humanistic capitalism, one of the greatest gifts of my youth and my future.
Other equally fundamental gifts came to me from pain, such as the one I experienced one day when I saw my father's tearful eyes after being humiliated at work. Those eyes were not just something personal, because they spoke to me of an offence to the dignity of the human person, of any human person, and this wound, which remained forever in my soul, became for me the imperative and the will to work all my life to foster the moral and economic dignity of the human being.
I dreamed of a business to make profits ethically, with dignity, without causing suffering to people and offence to Creation, or at least as little as possible. I liked to envisage more pleasant workplaces, where one could enjoy the view outside, and I wanted people to earn a little more, because we are all thinking souls, and because we can no longer turn our backs on poverty.
I was thinking of a fair job, in terms of working hours, quality, and harmony between technology and humanism; I was thinking of a job that could foster the creative spirit and of a fair amount of online time, because only in this way can the soul, like the body, be nourished every day.
Plato says that inner order is a virtue, and I have faith in the State: I am convinced of the goodness of respecting laws, even those that we may sometimes like a little less.
I know that our mother earth should not be consumed, but used, so that it can regenerate naturally, and until today I have dedicated myself to preserving what exists, to restoring what has been forgotten by time, to leaving a memory of beauty here, in my little homeland that is Solomeo, the hamlet of cashmere and harmony.
Slowly, with dedication and joy, we have restored the Castle, the village and its outskirts; the Theatre was born, our secular temple dedicated to the arts, and the Monument to Human Dignity, in the valley, in an immense park that has taken the name of Project for Beauty with the vineyard and the winery, as a token of devoted and grateful children to the great Mother Earth. On Monte della Cima, the Wood of Spirituality completes the spiritual symbolism of the Solomeo area, that is, the dialogue between spirituality, up high, culture, in the Hamlet, and work and nature in the valley.
It is precisely culture that will find its selected home in the new Universal Library of Solomeo, in an eighteenth-century villa that is being restored, right next to the Theatre. Love and knowledge for books from all over the world are the reasons that have sustained the greats of all times. In this I was inspired by the ancient Library of Alexandria, created by the King of Egypt, Ptolemy I, and I still think of Emperor Hadrian, according to whom he who builds libraries builds granaries of the soul for the immense benefit of posterity; Hadrian, who had books as a guide to govern himself and the world around him.
In culture and spirituality, as well as in economics and the environment, are the forms that complete the meaning of sustainability, and sustainability is one with Humanistic Capitalism, as an inclusive conception of everything material and immaterial that concerns the human person. The matrix and lowest common denominator of all this is universal humanism.
I like to think of an inclusive sustainability of material and spiritual values, a concrete place where the environment, the economy, culture and the spirit live together. I am convinced that in this way we can have a sustainable and complete action, because in spite of technology we live immersed in nature, and as Leibniz put it, nature "does not make leaps", that is, the relationships between things are of continuity and not of disruption. For this reason we imagine that there must be environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, cultural sustainability and spiritual sustainability.