Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Wisdom of Peanuts

If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself - Charles M. Schulz

When Charles Schulz died in 2000, the final Peanuts strip was published the following day. No other hand would draw his famous characters. As he said, everything reaches its end. But Schulz’ legacy holds true and the 355 million people who read his comics are a testament to that. The Peanuts Gang are setting up shop in Tokyo for the next few months, for an exhibit on Schulz’s life and the evolution of the comic strip. For anyone who has followed the touching and comical endeavours of Charlie Brown and co., it’s fascinating to learn about the creative mind behind the strip.

The wisdom of Peanuts is often written about. Simple messages about love, friends and life. At times melancholy, at others inspirational. Always endearing. It taught us basic lessons about determination. Charlie Brown didn’t hit a home run for decades. He once stood holding a kite string for eight days while it was stuck in a tree. Then there was his unrequited red-headed love, a direct parallel to Schulz’s own life. There are a number of quotes from the strip that I love, and this would be one of them, from Lucy: "What shape would the world be in today if everyone settled for being average?" Too true.

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