Did Peter Pan Get It Right?

DontGrowUp    Dsc_1901

 

We had a friend and her teen daughter (we also consider her a friend) over for a meal recently, and sometime during the conversation I advised Lydia not to be in a rush to grow up. I cautioned her that being an adult isn’t all it looks like from the perspective of a young person who’s waiting impatiently for adulthood to arrive.

Adulthood with all of its promises.

Today my wife and I went to the local Hobby Lobby store to buy some yarn, and I wandered around for a while rather than watch Kathleen make up her mind. When I saw the sign pictured above, I whipped out my smart phone, took a picture, and changed my mind about what I was going to write a blog post about today.

When I was a kid, I loved reading Peter Pan. Couldn’t watch the DVD; video recorders hadn’t been invented yet, and my parents couldn’t have afforded one, anyhow. I may have seen the original movie, but I barely recall it. The book was GREAT, though! How many times did I read it? No telling.

Who could  forget the fun and happy concept of a flying boy who wants to remain a child forever–and never grow up?

I can’t say that book made me want to remain young forever, though. After all, Peter Pan had a lot of responsibilities–caring for all those Lost Children and protecting them from Captain Hook.

I looked at my parents. Rather serious people, it seemed to me. We weren’t poor, but we couldn’t afford many of the things my friends had. Who knows if we would have ever gotten a TV set if one of my father’s churches hadn’t given us one in appreciation for his ministry? Or a stereo if his next church hadn’t been equally generous?

No, adulthood didn’t look all that great. But what was I to do? I was going to grow into it without having a choice, and I didn’t prove very adept at taking on adult responsibilities. Not at first, anyhow.

My father took me to the state employment office to apply for a part-time job, and I ended up working at a huge bread bakery. I had to stand on my feet for hours at a time and do nothing but staple boxes together.

I’m flatfooted, although that’s not as much of a problem now as it was then. Without talking to my parents first, I quit after the first day. My feet couldn’t take it.

My parents were quite disappointed, but they never pushed me to find part-time or summer work again. I hope they didn’t think I was useless. As it is, I still feel slightly guilty for having been the way I was then.

A Peter Pan life was looking better and better, but I knew it was only make-believe.

I grew into adulthood. Technically, anyhow. Eighteen came and went without much fanfare. So did twenty-one. In between was one momentous event, though;  the time I almost got drafted (this was at the height of the Vietnam war) when I failed to notify the draft board that my graduation from junior college was not the end of my education and I was transferring to a senior college.

Whether the Army would’ve made a man of me or simply gotten me killed, I’ll never know.

I have no desire to return to childhood. I can only remember bits and pieces of it; some of them were okay and some were regrettable.

What about that sign at Hobby Lobby, though? Is adulthood a trap?

Hmm. As a child I didn’t pay taxes or fret about what I would do when I grew up or how many vocations I’d go through to find the one I really liked. I didn’t know about all the evil in the world, and I didn’t know enough about violence to be afraid of it. Even if ISIS had existed then, I wouldn’t have known to be concerned about it. I never attended a funeral until I was in my twenties; so death didn’t seem like much of a reality.

As I continued to age, though, everything changed. I found that adulthood had definite drawbacks. Many things to dislike or feel ill at ease about. Reasons to appreciate God more and start looking forward to the perfection and sinlessness of Heaven.

I look at my life now and thank God daily for helping me safely reach this point. With His help, I’ve never felt hopelessly trapped. The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” He loves me perfectly, and I do my best to love Him that way, too.

God doesn’t want me to fear anything. Or to feel trapped. Even though I’ve become not just an adult, but one who’s had years of experience being one, I enjoy a sense of freedom I never knew as a child.

What about you? Do you ever feel trapped by circumstances? Do you ever wish you could become a child again to escape the various trials and evils of adulthood? Or are you living in God’s comforting presence, taking things as they come and trusting that He’s ultimately in control, even when He permits bad things to happen to good people? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Freedom, Rights, Comfort, and Privacy

privacy

I’ll never forget a statement I heard in a high school civics class: “I am free to do anything I want, but my rights end where the next person’s rights begin.”

So it’s okay to crank up the stereo just as loud as I want–until it’s loud enough to bother my next-door neighbors. And I can mow the lawn any time that pleases me–unless it’s at a time of day or night when other people are reasonably expected to be asleep. And the garbage collectors can empty the bin at the Arby’s behind us whenever they like…as long as they don’t wake us up doing it.

So it would appear that there’s no such thing as absolute freedom. Except maybe for the only resident of an otherwise deserted area.

But even that person isn’t free to start a reckless fire that might spread outside his privacy zone. Or launch missiles at aircraft passing overhead. Hmm. Looks like even his freedom is limited.

Something else I was taught in high school is that no one is free unless everyone is free. The rights of minorities must be protected in order to protect the rights of everyone else.

But minorities’ rights have restrictions, too. If the majority isn’t free to harm a minority, neither does a minority have the right to harm the majority.

Looking back on the issue of prayer in public schools, I find it interesting that my conservative Christian parents weren’t overly upset when prayer was first banned. By their reasoning, banning Christian prayers also meant banning satanic prayers, Muslim prayers, and no telling how many other kinds. So what the Christian majority thought of as a loss was actually protection from practices by various minority groups.

And those groups would’ve insisted on expressing their rights sooner or later–and they have. For Christians to be free, they must tolerate minorities they might actually despise–tolerate and honor the rights of.

All of this seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it?

The problem is that lines must still be drawn. Protecting minorities is no more important than protecting the majority. Not if we are all to be free.

But the whole thing seems to have gotten out of kilter, largely because of political correctness. I expressed my opinion of that in a previous post, so I won’t go there again right now.

However…

Transgenderism confuses and disturbs me. Not because I think ill of anyone who genuinely thinks he or she was born the wrong gender,  but because of the push to allow those individuals to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms of their choice. If they don’t feel “comfortable” in the facilities that correspond to their birth genders, they’re being deprived of their rights.

Hmm. I’m thinking about junior high phys. ed. at the moment. And having to shower and change among guys in various stages of pubescence. (I’ll bet the girls experienced the same problems.) I dare say a number of us felt uncomfortable doing that. But did we feel that our rights were being denied?

Nope. The right to feel comfortable? Where’s that in the Constitution, anyhow? But neither did most of us feel afraid.

I don’t believe the public outcry–in general–is directed against the transgendered themselves, but against the perverts who would do some unspeakably awful things to women and children while pretending to be transgendered and using restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms that don’t match their genders.

The boycott against Target is but one example of America’s decision to stand up for the rights of those who may not be physically able to protect themselves. Women and children who have the right to PRIVACY.

Perverts’ rights end where other people’s rights begin. Privacy–and the freedom from fear–is one of the rights that needs to be protected.

In no way do I condone anyone who picks on or purposely treats a transgendered individual improperly. But if transgendered individuals must suffer some discomfort to protect the rights of others, I’m afraid that’s just the way it has to be.

What are your feelings on this subject? Please leave a comment.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger