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The child and the disoriented time

Dr. Daniel S. Halpérin, Paediatrician in Geneva, Switzerland, Chairman of the Swiss Janusz Korczak Association

We live in a time of speed and hurry. Our perception of time no longer is what it was during centuries when it was frozen in an unchanging and predictable tempo, and matched the rhythms of life. Today, time seems to be speeding up. This is only an impression: it is not the time that is speeding up ; it is us who, caught up by a real frenzy of the immediate, make more and more in the same unit of time. But in going faster than time, in stealing from time its necessary duration, do we not deprive ourselves from this marvelous and sweet internal concern that we call “waiting”, and whose inseparable twin is “imagining” ? And if, obsessed as we are by speed, we do no longer respect the time of our children, is it not their whole system of orientation that might be disturbed ?
Without making the apology of the past, nor that of idleness, I suggest that time for respect should fit into our everyday life: respect for natural rhythms and circadian flows ; respect for recesses and games ; respect for patient efforts and arduous preparations ; respect for time which brings along repair and healing; respect for slowness which builds memory and depth. For time is nothing else than what allows us to invite, to welcome and to  commit oneself, exactly what we owe to our children.

Mr. Daniel Halperin (paediatrician in Geneva and Chair of the Swiss Januz Korczak Association)

Mr. Daniel Halperin (paediatrician in Geneva and Chair of the Swiss Januz Korczak Association)

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