Conversation with Lech Walesa between history and Solidarity


An hour workshop with the former Poland’s President regarding the unthinkable answers of history.

Lech Walesa is neither an electrician, nor one of the Solidarity’s founders. He is neither the Poland’s president, nor a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate since 1983. For the international students who attended the workshop today he has been more.

Today Lech Walesa has been a spiritual personal trainer to face those troubles youths can meet in their everyday lives.

Just a question was enough to let Walesa tell his story, from the first workers’ strikes in Poland to new challenges that the international community has to face today, such as the globalized terrorism.

Clearly, he is not a speechless man by character, but surely he had so many thing to tell us.

Thus, Walesa talked both about the past, which was characterized by huge changes in Poland and Europe, and about the present, referring to the terrible tragedy which took place in Paris provoked by an apparently invincible terrorism without flag.

“We have not to be scared guys, difficulties make us stronger and there isn’t an established order we cannot topple and overcome.” -said Walesa helped by his brilliant interpreter- “Look at my surprising story, how it developed through adversities. You can change the world but not without the help of close fellows to share your ideals with. This is the secret of Solidarity, a very simple Walesa’s philosophy. Before the year 2000, not one of people I had met believed that Soviet Communism’s collapse was possible.”

What we can learn today is that Lech Walesa’s contribution is more than a domestic Polish concern; the Solidarity for which he is spokesman is an expression of precisely the concept of being at one with humanity; therefore he belongs to all us. The world has hearded his voice and understood his message. The Nobel Peace Prize is merely a confirmation of this.

In the second part of his speech few concepts about the present and the current politics in Europe. We have not underestimate the power of change, both for the past and for the present. If we often claim that we need a better kind of European Union, hopefully with more integration, we have to find the means to make it real. Wrong things can be changed.

So, being an electrician, like Walesa was, is similar to being a politician. In Walesa’s words: “A good electrician should be able to put incompatible things together, make sure they work and keep them in order. Just like a good politician. I think these skills have been very useful in my political life.”

That is a clear invitation that Walesa offers us: if things go wrong we have to believe in change and act to modify what we can improve following the example of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates themselves. For instance referring to the path Lech Walesa followed during the workshop to brighten this day at the World Summit.