An effervescent, forever-young, and freedom-driven generation; like many before us, we have sought to differentiate ourselves from our parents. With that though comes plenty of negative critique, criticism from a voice not representative of our own. This has led to the coining of the term ‘the Peter Pan generation’. But why sit back and allow this term to slander, demonize, or disparage our generation? Instead, I believe we should celebrate what we are as a generation; after all, Peter Pan inspired a collective of people to embrace life by enjoyment.
The term often focuses on a phenomenon amongst our age group of 20-35 year olds, where we are assumed to live with our parents, avoid responsibilities related to money or relationships, and as far as life plans go, many believe they span as far as the weekend. According to online literature, we are a generation ‘spoilt by choice’; thereby refusing commitment as a necessary means of life.
However, with the inevitable shift of time, comes an even greater change in the behavioral characteristics of our generation. Who says we need to follow the norms of those who came before us? The world is a drastically different place to what it was 20, even 10 years ago. When my parents were my age they had a mortgage, 2 children, and a pension. Today with none of those things I find myself succeeding by acting passionately, following my strong sense of self, and moving with society as it changes around me. Not by following the recipe of a bygone era.
Though there is no shame in following in the footsteps of our parents, marrying young, and starting a family. Social changes in society, advancements in technology, and medical breakthroughs have removed some of the societal pressures that existed 30 years ago. We live in a world of freedoms, abundance, and choice. So why not live a little, and enjoy what this beautiful planet has to offer us as an individual before settling down, Passing the baton to the next generation.
When elders say we lack ambition because we don’t all want to be doctors, lawyers, or managers of some degree: Remember, some of us do want to! Secondly it is our generation’s power of imagination, and hunger for innovation that grants us the potential to make such a huge impact on the world. The creatives amongst us will be branded as artists; who had a much harder time succeeding in society 30 years ago than they do now. But do not shun your creative spirit, or dampen your imagination; as it is one of the most powerful tools for change that we have today.
True creatives, in whatever field they choose to express themselves through, can bring about monumental changes in society. The entrepreneurs of our generation, ready to take risks in order to achieve their dreams, can create whole new industries, never even conceived before. With more of us channeling our energies towards being amazing creative individuals, it’s no wonder they ought to be calling us the Peter Pan Generation.
Of course, there are some of us that will never fulfill our life’s potential and break out of Neverland. For some, responsibility is too great a cross to bare. These are the lost boys and girls, and for them all we can do for them is hope. For the most of us, we must remain committed; we must be committed to being the best we can be. As a generation we symbolize many things: innovation, opportunity, creativity, and hope for the future. If we supposedly believe in magical thinking, and a bottomless cookie jar of choice; who’s to say we should ever stop chasing our dreams? Dreaming, flying and changing the world sounds a lot like being a superhero, and that sounds pretty good to me.
“Pan, who and what art thou?”
“I’m youth, I’m joy, I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.”
We are the Peter Pan Generation – young, happy, passionate, ambitious, responsible, and committed. Laden with choice, we decide who we want to be and we will be super.