As many of you, it is with great sadness that I’ve heard the news about the British vote. The sad reality of human endeavors is that it takes mere minutes to unravel the work of several generations.
onefinestay in Paris would be nothing without our British – and more generally foreign – members of the team. Not only have they been a cornerstone of our common achievement, they’re the reason we smile every morning when we come to the office and hear the sheer musicality of different voices speaking in different langages, they’re why we approach every problem open to the idea that a different history might enrich us with a different perspective. They’ve made each of us better, and will continue to do so. This is the true wealth of the Indies.
I’m sad, but not concerned.
Europe is not a treaty. It’s not a parliament, and it’s not a set of institutions. These are just visible trappings of an idea that predates us and will outlive every single one of us, the idea that every layer of superficiality and falsehood we peel away brings us closer to Man, not as he is, but as he ought to be – United. And Europe is nothing but a first step in that journey.
In the admittedly better words of Saint-Exupéry, “He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves – in Man… For no man seeks to hear his own echo, or to find his reflection in the glass.”
We build Europe every-time a French student hops on a train for an Erasmus year abroad – and either stays there forever or comes back with wider eyes and a bigger heart. We build Europe every time someone graduates in London and thinks that, just maybe, Paris would be a great place to learn more than a foreign langage. We build Europe when a cross-border wedding leads to kids without borders, learning two langages well enough to realize that langage doesn’t matter. We build Europe in the pub when 10 Frenchies instantly switch to English just because a foreign colleague joins. We build Europe every time someone starts working in our Paris office and decides to continue their onefinestay journey in Rome.
We build Europe by our example, by what we do, and make it a little stronger every day in the hearts of the people we meet. And we will continue to do exactly that, because no vote in the world can take that identity away from us.
(PS: The words above are not an official statement. This is just me.)