“Finding inspiration within a difficult economic context in Southern Europe”

While I was tiding up my bedroom an old piece of school work written when I was 6 years old fell in my hands. TITLE: “Who inspires you?” OMG, what a difficult question to answer… So who is inspiring Italian youth? I try to answer the old question again but from a more mature perspective, at least I hope so!

I think we could find two main sources of inspiration: the global and the local one.

In this difficult period dominated by unemployment and uncertainties, young Italians have to face a very difficult situation. Finding a job is harder than finding an oasis in the desert, and future perspectives are not so good. A large number of my friends have found a way to overcome this situation – they are leaving to work abroad. The most interesting thing is that there is no fear of living in another country because we are very open-minded people.

On the other hand, those who decide to stay find hope and motivation to go on and strive to achieve goals. That is the reason why the spectrum of inspiration becomes wider and wider, reaching countries far from Bel Paese. The willingness to build a better world has a leading role in selecting icons. People like Steve Jobs have shown the importance of focusing on creativity and personal intuitions to reach great objectives, without giving up at the first obstacle. After all, he was the father of “Stay hungry, stay foolish” motto….In a country dominated by uncertainty there is no better thought: always push yourself and never be satisfied.

Besides ‘self-made men’ who create their fantastic careers from nothing, we have also experienced philanthropists fighting globally to set a more equal world. Worldwide problems like wars, global hunger and diseases affect young people more than you think. For that reason people acting globally to fight against these issues and to establish minimum rights in every country of the world are so influential for young Italians. The lesson provided by people like Aung San Suu Kyi or those involved in peace keeping and peace building is stronger than ever, since we are conscious that we are part of the wider world.

Day by day reality helps us to find more ‘reachable’ inspirational people. Friends and families are seen as important figures in shaping our personality. Global ideas and icons can be calibrated according to the closest circle of knowledge; we can turn the world into a better place to live, but firstly we have to know ourselves and our supporters, i.e. our friends and family.

Stefano Pirotta; aged 28; Italy