Everyone has either had the book read to them, read the book themselves, or seen the multitude of movies that have been made based on the writings of J. M. Barrie. As I sit here typing this up, my son(3) and my youngest daughter (2) are absolutely entranced by the latest incarnation of the famous story pictured here on the left.
I have to wonder exactly what is it about this story that keeps people of all ages interested. Is it the notion of never growing up? Maybe it’s about never having responsibilities beyond taking your medicine and fighting pirates. Could it just be that there is something deeper at work here?
I am obviously no expert here, but my take on it is that the draw of Peter Pan is that anything is possible if you simply believe. As adults we are pounded with the harsh realities that are every day life. It is so easy to forget this powerful “magic” that is believing.
In fact, there is even a version of the Peter Pan story that entertains the question “What would happen if Peter Pan grew up?” In Hook, Stephen Spielburg approaches that very question. I think this underscores the fears we all have as adults. We fear that the mundane lives we lead kill the adventure. In fact one of the final lines in the movie says “To live, that will be a great adventure.”
I think with everything that has been going on in the world in the current moment: rising unemployment, the economy, the environment, war in Iraq, and on and on and on…we have been numbed into believing that we just need to take whatever we are given and that’s our lot in life. I think it is time for us to be inspired, to dream, and to think that anything is possible again.
Therein lies the magic of Peter Pan. If we can just recapture that magical, almost childlike, ability to simply believe that anything is possible…well then there is nothing that we as a country, as a world, as a people cannot accomplish.