TO DO IN ORDER TO BE? OR TO BE IN ORDER TO DO?
In recent months I was struck by the reaction to the article written by Sara Lazzaro about boys and the choice of their future (THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN TIME).
I just work with high school students and I see them worrying about what awaits them, sometimes afraid of not being up to something that they have not yet become but that already overwhelms them. Then there are also the guys who with great certainty and rigor already know what they will do and will be without the slightest doubt. They don’t necessarily get better… The jump from high school to the future is uncertain by definition, it is completely free, it is a fact more exploratory than a priori certainties. It’s not just meeting these guys that I’m interested in.
It’s about a memory. The memory of me at their age.
I was full of fear and insecurity but I knew that despite everything I had to make it. I had to study, go to university and then take one exam after another to get to the degree in the times decided by the programs (and especially by me).
I had to DO many things, as you see. I had decided. Everything depended on it: what I was, what I was worth, what was important.
Is that what happened?
Did the high marks and all the exams make me realize who I was? Was I worth those grades?
Personally I’ve always loved and I love studying and it’s not easy for me to say this, but the answer is No!
That very high-level DOING, very effective, very safe, very engaging, was hiding something. A deficiency of something. A slightly wavering being who had to work hard in a very different way to get back on his feet and see himself recognized as a value. To arrive at a BEING that knows how to recognize and value all that previous doing made a little nonsense.
Once I worked all this out, I allowed myself to do so many different things, to learn other things, to think thoughts that I couldn’t think before because I just had to do before. I could afford to be and do not just one thing, but a thousand.
These personal memories would like to be a starting point to think about what we need to do and what we need to be today. Today, as Gioia Piazzi said in his exciting article, we must “do our best” (ROLLING INTO SEPTEMBER).
Saying or doing something but deeply thinking about another is not just a bad matter of hypocrisy. This incoherence is what often makes young people feel bad because they don’t understand the way adults do. This incoherence makes us feel bad too. Or rather, if it makes us feel bad it’s a good sign. It means that we still have a functioning sensitivity that sounds like an alarm bell. We don’t have two souls, we’re not split in half. The inside and the outside can and must therefore be together.
So the research to be done is about the coherence between the inside, the identity, the affections, the dreams, the hopes, and our doing and realizing something.
Be clean to achieve a cleaner world. Be less violent to achieve a less violent world. Be less exploitative to achieve a more sustainable world.
Can this be a compass to do the right thing?