Peter Pan and the Myth of Freedom

You remember the story of Peter Pan – the boy who wouldn't grow up. He spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythical island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys. Then there's Wendy, the female protagonist on the verge of adulthood, who stands in contrast to Peter. Through Wendy, we realize that Peter Pan is not a story about eternal youth. It is a story about growing up, and in particular about one young girl’s realization that reality is more satisfying than make-believe.

Wendy falls in love with Peter but ends up leaving Netherland. She chooses motherhood over Peter and eternal youth. Peter sacrifices the ability to have a family with Wendy so he’s stuck with Tinker Bell who is the substitute for the real thing...like the fairy of porn.

Myth of Freedom

Freedom isn't really free because of the sacrificial element in maturation. Jordan Peterson is notorious for saying “Pick your damn sacrifice!”. He explains we don’t get to choose if we sacrifice, because eventually something has to give, but we do get to choose what we sacrifice. He goes on to say the problem with being a child forever is all you are is potential; you can be anything but you’re also nothing.

Perpetual Students

The pursuit of knowledge, when not applied to anything, is an indulgent exercise. For example, only 3% of PhD students end up teaching, the rest delay their industry experience for 5+ years, only to find careers outside their areas of expertise. Moreover, you can see why graduate programs like MBAs are losing their luster. You’re prolonging the life of not being something and the price you pay is student debt. It’s like the modern day pleasure island! Since we're moving away from a credential-oriented society, pick your damn sacrifice, Peter Pan, get experience to see what works and forget prolonging the inevitable.


So here is the hidden lever

"A man who procrastinates in his choosing will have his choice made for him by circumstance" — Hunter S. Thompson

Until next time,
Justin