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Another year at the listening desk has passed.

I have been doing it for four years now at a high school. It is an experience that makes you rediscover the teenager in you because it is the only way to talk to the youngest, to make yourself understood and to understand them.

It was therefore an experience of rediscovery but also of discovery because young people are new, they are all to be discovered.

They have been truly extraordinary for the school these past few years.

Do we want to talk about 2020 with the lockdown and the sudden switch to online that amazed everyone? Do we want to talk about 2021 with alternating dad and the many crises?

Do we want to talk about this year? Now the news is no longer online, the young immediately grasped the potential of being able to connect to talk to me from their room, from the next room, from the beach.

This is the year of the war. It is the year of drought. It is the year of a return to an apparent normality that is devastating the planet. We are often talking about it on this blog.

From my privileged observatory inside the school it comes to me to look at how the boys reacted to all this.

It is undeniable that a great movement of green thinking began thanks to a Swedish teenager who has been challenged and derided by the adult world for a long time. But she, Greta, almost a young Cassandra, was right and we all see it.

The feeling is that among the very young there is a little lack of that strong and determined collective dimension that wants to dialogue with the adult world. I speak of will because I think there is a deep distrust of adults. For a series of non-responses to the requests of the boys. For a lack of interest in the most beautiful sense of the term, that is commitment, attention, care, curiosity, generosity.

Being laughed at and challenged, like Greta precisely, when you are young just because you are young and think, fight, ask and expect something that adults don’t like or don’t want is really difficult.

The dialectic is missing, therefore, because the interlocutor is missing.

But losing the clean vision and vitality of being young is even worse!

Maybe something is missing, lost or not yet developed. What is missing is believing in it, thinking of being able to be, of being able to do something.

Sometimes I remember my youthful idealism and with it the very strong fear I had of losing it by becoming great. I was really scared of it as if it were an inevitable fate to fight against.

I like what very young people wrote on this blog “We want to tear the edges badly …”. I think that’s a point to keep thinking about.

The dialectic with adults, if adults only expect the youngest to become like them, cannot work. The movement cannot only be upwards, or from above.

So I think that we need to trigger a so-called “lateral” movement. It is not by simply replacing those who govern us that we will change things. We have seen it, the revolution of 68 failed with the rebels becoming the new bourgeois.

Younger people have to find their own way, at this point I feel like the more different it is from ours, the better it will be. A movement that involves them all, which is a “social thinking” in order to discover or rediscover that things can be changed. Because together we are smarter and more capable and then we can be an intelligent movement with a voice to which it is no longer possible not to respond.

Maria Giubettini


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