Some do it effortlessly. Some, like me, have a hard time doing it, even at 27.
So what stops us? People with ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’, that is? (I should however mention here that the World Health Organization does not recognize this as a psychological disorder1). What stops us ‘real life Peter Pans’ from growing up?
Psychologists and psychiatrists (like the originator of the term Dan Kiley and later researchers like Humbelina Ortega1) point the finger at overprotecting parents in early life and at overbearing partners (terming them ‘Wendy’) in later life as being the root cause of triggering and nurturing this behavior in the ‘Peter Pans’.
But trust me when I say that this is not the case with me.
I believe there’s a third reason which makes people refuse to grow up and assume responsibilities in a real world. The fear of ‘knowing’ with certainty.
You see, uncertainty is thrilling, well, if you can handle it. It leaves room for imagination and for daydreaming and for romanticizing. The moment you commit to something, a job, a relation or a way of life, you are marked forever and for that specific situation only. There is no turning around. It’s like going on and on between two rail tracks; specified, determined; fixed. At least, I believe, people with this syndrome, must think this way.
It is not rational thinking. Neither is it logical. The pragmatic minds would condemn such thoughts branding them ‘escapist’ and ‘selfish’. Probably they are. And recent researches show that this is fast becoming a widespread affliction1, 2.
I will not theorize why this syndrome is being increasingly noticed among youths across the world. That is best left to the psychologists and social scientists. And to the prudish ‘Wendys’ of the world.
I will instead, risking admonition, suggest letting the ‘………..drifters off to see the world’ chase after the ‘……rainbow’s end waiting round the bend’. If anything, it makes for an endearing read and a heart-warming watch, for all, prudes included, when human life hits a serious low.
- University of Granada. “Overprotecting Parents Can Lead Children To Develop ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’.” ScienceDaily, 3 May 2007. Web. 22 Sep. 2012. http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2007/05/070501112023.htm