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“All grown-ups were once children. But only few of them remeber it”. Antoine De Saint-Exupéry.

I recently reread all the articles published on this blog, I do not say anything new if I say that they are all related mainly to the theme of adolescence, but I would like to put together some of them and touch on the fundamental points of each one without claiming to be exhaustive , precisely because of the vastness of elements and thoughts that are inside them.

I admit that I was inspired by personal facts in my life, as often happens to me every time I pick up my pen and start jotting down a few lines for my new articles; because yes! Before writing on the computer keyboard, I write my ideas, my words by hand.

A few days ago I was having lunch with two of my great affections, she a high school teacher and he an artist, and they were discussing how difficult it is to bring out their personality in children without them feeling pigeonholed into what society believes ” useful “and right.

This first consideration reminded me of an article in this blog “Useless people” which emphasizes the importance of understanding how and what is universally considered “useful”. What emerges is that for a certain dominant culture, art for example, can be considered useless because it does not give advantage, profit. The profit is thus linked to a rational idea that would see man act and choose only for reasons related to an advantage, a sure gain.

My friends were discussing their respective experiences and the artist remembers that at the time of high school he decided to drop out of school in the third year because the art school would not have guaranteed him a working future; so he began to attend a professional school which at his end guaranteed him an entry into the world of work. The most beautiful thing he added later, with much emotion in this regard, was that his drawing teacher immediately tracked him down following his abandonment and forced him to return to high school, recognizing in him an enormous talent that she was sure he would know. transform into a great achievement. It goes without saying that he is now an artist of indisputable success and that his passion has made his fortune and that of many others to whom he offers work.

My teacher friend said instead that she often clashes with these issues when she talks to her students about their future and that she often reminds them to choose based on their interests and she found herself very much in the way of acting that the teacher of I plan not to let school dropouts go unnoticed by ways of thinking that distance us from trying to make our dreams come true.

Now, I am reminded of other articles on this blog where the teachers also tell us something directly, such as “The eternity in a jar”, “They don’t want to study”, “The guys of 5G ” and “Some thoughts on school dropout” where, even if the historical period of the pandemic is taken more into consideration, the responsibility that families, teachers and society have in making the mistake is continually emphasized by considering children only as containers to be filled and to train without knowing their background, their interests, passions and their reality outside the classroom. Reading these articles, the need emerges instead of asking ourselves “What happens to a boy who does not want to study, or fails because he has lost interest or curiosity?” or “Why do kids often feel they have to follow in their parents’ footsteps in future choices?”

Adolescence is a very important period which, in my opinion, forces us to make delicate reflections, to unexpected upsets. It forces us to separate from many things but at the same time to keep them tight inside of us. Articles like “Separations”, “The first love”, “Normal people… Tests of separation”, “A difficult choice to make” address this issue and offer some answers.

There are really many questions that need to be answered. Many of these concern sexuality, psychological well-being. Themes to be addressed in several areas without censorship, judgments. Perhaps there is a need for this (In this regard, “Politically correct: Thoughts on a society that wants to eliminate the dialectic about sexuality”).

To do all this, one should get out of the idea that there is a need for educational interventions; adults who have to do with children (whatever their role in their lives) should be the first not to have lost that irrational dimension that allows them not to make decisions exclusively for the benefit they bring and instead have an affectivity and sensitivity such as to see and feel that every human being is unique and different. And unique and different are his aspirations, his dreams, his needs; this is well described in “Squid Game”, an article always present in this blog.

I ventured into these lines with the knowledge that I would not have said everything there is to say and that I would not have mentioned all the articles that you can find on “Papillon” and I apologize inviting you to go and read them yourself if you want, hoping to have aroused the curiosity to do so.

I would like to conclude by responding to a girl, Claudia, who wrote together with other students in the article “How do you feel? Face to face with exam students on pandemic situation and mental health ”… You don’t have to be perfect, nobody has to. We must be free to be ourselves and have the courage to follow our dreams. I think of how many people who if they hadn’t done it today would have left us deprived of such beauty. And beauty (which has nothing to do with our appearance) we cannot and must not do without!

Valeria Verna


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Credits by: Antoni Shkraba
“All grown-ups were once children. But only few of them remeber it”. Antoine De Saint-Exupéry.