I'm not sure if it's socially acceptable to climb on bronze statues, but I'm not really one for blindly following social conventions. And that's why, in England last summer, I climbed on the famous 1912 statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. With the nice weather this month, I got reflecting on the “lighter things” of life, and that got me thinking about Peter Pan again, so I dug out the photo to share this month!
Say what you want about immature adolescents, but you have to admit that Peter Pan is a neat guy. I personally think we can learn something from him. Okay, so he was cocky, careless and pompous - traits that I don't particularly admire - but he also had some good stuff going for him. He loved to play, had a great imagination, and since he could spend hours playing with his own shadow, he could obviously amuse himself pretty well. Amazingly, even though television wasn't invented for another 50 years, “I'm bored” was not in Peter's vocabulary. Is it in your vocabulary?
Peter shows us how to encourage our friends. When Tinkerbell sacrificed herself to save his life by drinking poisoned medicine, Peter didn't just sit and feel sorry for himself, he took action! In fact, he saved her life by clapping to help her regain her strength. “I believe in fairies!” Clap! Clap! Clap! Fairies gain strength when you encourage them. Actually, that applies to everyone. Try it out!
He did some other noble sorts of things too - using his talents to do good! Realizing Tiger-Lily was in an unfair two-against-one fight, Peter imitated Captain Hook and commanded the pirates to set her free (which was also a nice gesture to improve the political strife with the Indians). I don't endorse the identity theft, but I like the creative problem-solving.
Yet Peter, like you and I, is hard to fully understand, and I'll bet he didn't always feel totally understood either. He's complex! Here's a guy who can out-fence Captain Hook, brutally cut off his hand and feed it to a nearby crocodile (which, to be honest, seems a wee-bit unnecessary), yet the little twerp starts crying like a baby when he loses his shadow.* But I think maybe I'd be upset if I lost my shadow too, so I probably shouldn't poke fun.
This month, consider being more like Peter Pan. Even if you can't learn to fly, eliminate “I'm bored” from your vocab. Use a talent to make the world better. Clap for a friend. And maybe above all, don't forget to play: Get outside. Climb a tree. Climb a statue. Sing in the rain. Walk barefoot in the mud. Dance with a rake. Sword-fight a pirate. Feed a crocodile. Kiss a mermaid... But do SOMETHING! If you need me, I'll be in Neverland - second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.
*For those that don't remember, Peter's shadow gets trapped inside Wendy's house after the shutters slam too fast for it to get out (a good trick, incidentally).
April 7, 2009
Wendy: My parents wanted me to grow up.
Captain Hook: Growing up is such a barbarous business, full of inconvenience... and pimples.
Hook: And now, Peter Pan, you shall die.
Peter: To die would be an awfully big adventure.
Granny Wendy: So... your adventures are over.
Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live... to live would be an awfully big adventure.
Joel Hilchey speaks and facilitates workshops across North America, empowering students, educators & business leaders who want to build stronger, more positive teams and communities. Contact him by phone at 1-877-487-5635 or check him out online at www.joelhilchey.com!
RIDDLE: In a deep and dark cave, I run round day by day and I make too much noise, the cave owner would say. But not all would agree that my running is bad, for if I should stop, a nice meal could be had!
What am I?
While I don't actually endorse BUYING this stuff, nothing says "I refuse to grow up" like a wittily-silk-screened t-shirt. And this site has LOTS of them. Browsing them provided a nice 5 minutes of chuckling.
you don't get some of them, you've probably already grown up. Or you
haven't been around long enough. These seem to be specifically
tailored for people who are in the "refuse to grow up" stage of life.