Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 23, 2020
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Brunello Cucinelli: “Calamities too have a soul, and they can teach us how to live wisely”

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 23, 2020

The hope that the tough times we are experiencing may transform into something positive for humanity clearly emerges from the “spring letter” that Brunello Cucinelli, boss of the eponymous Italian luxury label, chose to address to “[my] most esteemed staff and our friends around the world.”

Brunello Cucinelli - brunellocucinelli.com

“Who is it that sends swallows to us? If I’m away on business in early March, I almost always ring home and ask if swallows have come back to Solomeo, [the Italian hamlet where Brunello Cucinelli's headquarters are based]. I ask for two reasons: because I’ve loved swallows ever since my childhood, and also because I heard that, sometimes, they fail to return; perhaps they no longer feel at home in a particular place, and this worries me,” began Cucinelli’s letter.

“This year too, I spent a few days waiting for them, they are like clockwork, you can set your watch to them: around March 15, they are usually back again, chirping cheerfully and twirling harmoniously. (...) Each year I rejoice in swallows, but in these unhappy times, it seemed to me they signalled a rebirth,” continued the letter. 

Cucinelli compared human beings to seafarers, who are well aware that “a lighter vessel can be steered more easily.”

He thinks that the tough times most people are experiencing and the forced isolation in which the citizens of many countries find themselves might be, as he puts it, a way to “realise that, after all, we feel more lightweight at home, with our family, living as in times gone by. I wish we could all learn to glimpse the glimmer of joy that exists even in the most painful things. The seed of an ethical response that will make us all better does lie within our current woes, and perhaps in future, when these memories will have slipped away with our troubles, we will think, like Aristotle, that calamities too have a soul, and they can teach us how to live wisely.” 
Cucinelli urged everyone to recognise the validity of the decisions and norms issued by public authorities, and to follow them dutifully, and concluded his letter with a message of hope for everyone: “Everywhere in the world there have been tougher, more painful times than the current ones, but they all came to pass. Grey clouds move on and leave the sky free once more to welcome swallows. You see, we don’t know who sends them to us, but here they are, they have already arrived.”

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