Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Attention Deficit Disorder

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

My friends in myspace touch some subjects that are really important for us. In the previous post, one of them mention that love was not a priority, and many of you had a chance to manifest your vision of love ..:

(By the way, as myspace was mentioning “sorry an expected error…etc”. I posted three times the subject, then I had to delete two, and some comments were also deleted). The same thing happened with this one, so if you subscribe, please forget the previous and make the comment using this post.

This time, one of the friends mentioned that her child has Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD). It is funny because the first time that I heard about it was from Nancy, an American myspace friend who came to Paris to meet me. According to Nancy, you put a child in a room with several toys, and IF the child does not get lost, she does not have ADD.

I can guarantee you: I would be immediately diagnosed as a severe case, because being a child (and even as an adult) I pay attention to everything and nothing.

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From that conversation with Nancy on, the subject started popping up in several conversations, and I got this as a sign. I started reading on the subject, and besides some concrete medical cases (like brain injury, for example), I really don’t believe that this is something that should be taken into consideration. Allan Greespan, the former Fed Chairman, was a musician till very late in his life, before deciding to go in economics. I am a writer, but I can be totally distracted if someone starts talking about archery (one of my passions).

I am not a doctor, but I lived in times where we took life as it is. I found a quite interesting text on internet, saying that people who are now between 40 and 60 years could not technically survive if we take the parameters that we use today.

Cradles were painted in bright colors that are now considered “dubious” because they could contain lead or some other dangerous element.
I am part of a generation that built the famous ball-bearing carts (I do not know how to explain this to today’s generation – let’s say they were metal balls held between two iron arcs) and we would roll down the hilly streets of Botafogo using our shoes as brakes, falling, hurting ourselves, but ever so proud of our high-speed adventure.
There were no cellular phones, our parents had no way of knowing where we were: how could that be possible?

Children were never right, they were always being punished, but even so they did not have psychological problems of rejection or lack of love.

At school there were good students and bad students: the good ones passed, the bad ones had to repeat the year. This was not a reason for consulting a psychotherapist – they just had to repeat the year.
And even so we survived with some scratched knees and few traumas. Not only did we survive, but we also fondly remember the time when milk was not poison, when children had to solve their problems without any help, fought when they had to, and spent a great part of the day without electronic games, inventing their own games with their friends.
I am worried about the children of tomorrow, with their parents with mobile phones, psychotherapists helping at each defeat and – above all – being diagnosed with ADD when curiosity is very important to be able to find our personal legend.

Now please feel free to comment or even insult me. This is an open forum.

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