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  • Writer's pictureDavide Ferrari

On Peter Pan and the fear of responsibility

At the time of authoring this article I am 30 years old, a good turning point from a certain perspective. My problem is that, at this point, I don't have any reference anymore on when things should be supposed to happen.

The timeline of our life has changed and dilated so much in the past decades that nowadays it's so difficult to distinguish between adulthood and youth. Having thirty nowadays is like having twenty in 1980, and society doesn't help to understand where you are and where you are supposed to be.

In particular, the main narrative of modern times tries to detach ourselves from responsibility and postpone the moment when to take it as much as possible. You graduate much later, you get a stable relationship much later (if at all), you marry much later (if at all), you have kids much later (if at all). This "freedom" masks itself as positive and liberating, but to me is only source of chaos and uncertainties.

The immense ease that modern times brough in our lives, also brought us to lose strength and orientation in life.

Tough times generate strong men Strong men generate easy times Easy times generate weak men Weak men generate tough times

Is seems to me that we are closing the third phase and entering the fourth, in which the advancement of technology, the ease of gathering food, heat our homes, access to water and the amount of easy-to-use entertainment are producing an entire generation of people who don't know how tough life can be (and has been in the past) and how much humankind need strong people to not descend into chaos and hell.

History is full of periods like this, but I feel that this time, especially given the immense technological advancements of the last decades, we face a new paradigm of "easy times" and, therefore, "weak men".

Nowadays people are incentivized to remain young forever and, at least this is my impression, it wasn't always like that. In the past, people were pushed to take responsibility as soon as possible: find a job, make a family, have children, take care of the family, etc. Nowadays, the little one can do, the better.

All these things are responsibilities that steal time from having fun, being "young" and waste time. I don't like this narrative based on the Peter Pan syndrome.

This is about running away from adulthood and act like a child even after teen age. It's about escaping responsibilities and avoiding the burden (but also the reward) of taking those responsibilities. What do you want to be? Captain Hook? Surely not! For starter, he has a hook. Secondly, he is chased by the crocodile of time and death, which wants to eat him, and by the way, has already a piece of him.

They say that it's much better to be the leader of the lost boys, other kids-like people who don't know where they are, where they are going, how to take responsibilities and how to contribute to society. They say that it's too much of a burden to escape from Tinker Bell, which could be seen as the fairy tale of porn. It's just easier and (almost) equally satisfying, even though it's that only in the impulsive immediacy.

I do not agree. Yes, it is much harder to follow and chase Wendy, the responsible, responsibility-oriented, growing young woman, but it's probably much more important and rewarding on the long run. It is so hard to imagine and grasp the consequences of our actions in a long-time span, especially when it's in the future. And do keep in mind that by today standards, being 40 years old means that you will likely have exactly other 40 years ahead to contend with. And you will have to live with yourself and your decision for twice as much you have already lived.

Do keep in mind that being young can be appealing, but the consequences of not being responsible come with the bill, and sooner than you think.

Do not fear of taking responsibilities, do not fear of making one step more than others. It's worth it. It will bring mean into your life and will help you as antidote to chaos.

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