J.M Barrie. Famous for creating the character
Peter Pan the boy who never grew up.
Perhaps less well know is the fact that the part
about never growing up was a very really part
of his life.
Barrie suffered from what is known as onset
Dwarfism. He had a difficult upbringing but
the point Barrie retells is a time when he over-
heard is mother say that she only loved him as
a small child.
It was thought that this was enough to keep
him for ever growing again.
It sounds life a fairy tale in itself but this is
far from an isolated case.
This story was seen over and over again in
the orphanages of Romania where children
were too many to care for.
And the orphanages of England where growth
correlated with the strictness of the staff.
The textbooks document one particular case in
A young boy removed from an abusive family
home after being diagnosed with onset
[a condition where the body stops producing
Human growth hormone or absorbing calcium]
…was placed in the care of a particular nurse.
Under this nurses care he began to grow, he
stopped for a 2 week period when she went
on holiday. On her return he eventually grew
to be an average size man.
Extreme stories perhaps don’t create a clear
picture for comparison but they do help us
see what humans need.
We picture ourselves as machines, sleep here,
work here, exercise here, eat these things –
get this result.
Then when we struggle or fail to do the things
we said we would do we see ourselves as
malfunctioning in some way.
The stories above point to a clear fact.
We are wired for connection.
We eat stuff we don’t want to
We go for drinks after work
We say, “go on then”- when we want to say “no”
We agree when inside we disagree.
We are tribal animals,
It’s not “NICE” to connect.
It’s life and death.
We will always place human connection above
health and awareness of this fact is vital if we
are to understand and in turn change our
actions should we wish to.,
So don’t be hard so hard on yourself but start
getting comfortable telling the story of what
is important to you.
You’ll be amazing how many people want the
same things. Make them your tribe.