How Hard Can It Be?
Peter Pan was a fictional character created by J. M. Barrie. One of the more popular quotes from Barrie’s work has been used to define what is known as the Peter Pan Syndrome: “I don’t want ever to be a man. I want to always be a little boy and to have fun.” The trending term for such is “manolescent” or a man of any age who shirks adult responsibilities.
As young kids, most of us eagerly looked forward to growing up and being adults. Let’s face it; it really seemed that adults got better toys. There were certainly those who warned us that life as an adult would not be all fun and games but generally most of us ignored them. After all, we asked: “how hard can it be?”
What makes each of us special is, in part, the potential of our growing up, that greatness that we all can one day achieve because we are unique. Mindfulness helps us be present in the moment of our living, each moment. It allows us to understand the value of being unique. By being mindful and fully aware of and in our living, we have the ability to turn a mere moment into a miracle moment.
It is interesting that there is a group for whom aging and growing up has been impossible, not because they don’t want to but because their bodies seem unable to do so. We tend to overlook the advantages of aging but they do indeed exist and they are vitally important to our living and our potential to succeed.
Neoteny is the delaying or slowing of development in an organism. The concept of child as the parent of the adult is found in the literature of the Holy Bible as well as the writing of William Wordsworth. Growth is essential because it is the concrete of the foundation of our future life. Those suffering from the recently identified Neotenic Complex Syndrome never seem to age. While the Peter Pan Syndrome is a term used exclusively for males, victim of Neotenic Complex Syndrome (or NCS) are, so far, always female.
Not being able to age may seem like the answer to many prayers but it comes with a price. There is very limited development that accompanies this inability. This means that victims of NCS are usually unable to see, speak, and have very limited movement ability. We tend to think of aging as the enemy that limits or deprives us of life. The reality is that aging gives us the tools for successful living.
Mindfulness allows us to evaluate the moments of our living and create new opportunities. Research into NCS hopes to, one day, enable modern science and medicine to better understand the aging process. Today, though, these victims give love, even in their limited capacity. They afford us the chance to realize the importance of our every day and to value that which we do have and can appreciate. The joy of life comes not in the biggest toys but in the joy we find in each moment and that is not hard to do once we look for it.