Ferrying parents

Publish date 29-06-2021

by Gabriella Delpero

Given the month of the year in which we find ourselves, we could really say that the nightmare of the pandemic with all its procession of restrictions, impositions, losses and fears now seems to us "as long as Lent!". In the past (when Lent was heard and observed by many ...) this expression indicated in fact a time that was certainly not short in preparation for Easter, marked by concrete renunciations and penances (often unfortunately lived in a purely legalistic way) and therefore perceived as heavy, difficult , boring. Today almost no one resorts to this exclamation, but certainly the feeling of being in a bad period that never seems to end, remains.

Lately I have heard from several people the concern, almost the anguish for the duration of this emergency, for the passing of a "still" time that we can no longer conceive as an opportunity, a space of freedom to be filled with our initiatives. and our action, but of which we simply have to wait for the end. In short, a suspended time. An empty parenthesis. A lost time? No, time remains in any case the scope of our becoming, we are being born and growing and constantly changing in this time, we cannot wait for another one! Above all, they cannot wait for children and young people, for whom the passage of time is the condition for acquiring the identity they do not yet fully possess. They are becoming men and women now, instant by instant, and it is the time of the pandemic that offers them the particular mode of existence through which they progressively transform into what they will be. Many parents are wondering how to lead their children through such a difficult time, between closed, semi-closed or open schools in fits and starts, grandparents absent as they are at risk, distance learning (and often increasingly distant from the real interests of the students) , abolished sports, deserted meeting places, rampant, invasive, omnipresent social media ... and around the desert.

At times I have asked: have you ever tried to propose a book? A phrase by Marcel Proust, in my opinion very beautiful even if it may seem a bit excessive, said in fact: "There are perhaps no days of our childhood that we lived as intensely as those we believe we have lost without living them: the days spent in the company of a very expensive book ». Reading and watching are by no means the same activities. The same is only the organ through which we exercise them, that is, sight. Everything else is profoundly different. The first, fundamental difference is given by the fact that the written page, however simple it may be, requires the constant effort of his attention on the part of the reader. Only in this way is it possible to transform letters, words and phrases into one's own ideas, concepts, emotions.

The "live TV", on the other hand, can also be followed by doing anything else, either in a semi-asleep condition or in any case in a much weaker state of consciousness. With the obvious consequence that a passively absorbed message carries the risk of entering into us making us believe that we have "thought" and elaborated it personally. But it's not true. And a videogame repeated for hours certainly stimulates the rapidity of intuition, the quickness of reflexes, the eye-manual coordination, but also the tendency to isolation, estrangement from the surrounding environment, the disuse and impoverishment of verbal language. , the loss of real communication. Not to mention the real danger and ambiguity of many of the contents conveyed by all types of media, which invest the youngest every day without any filter and without us adults really knowing in the hand of who we leave their minds hostage. At the risk of repeating myself, I conclude this way: let's try to fight together not only against the virus, but not to sink into an unreal dimension, which projects existence on a screen instead of involving ourselves in authentic moments of real life.

Gabriella Delpero
NP march 2021


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