Good Grief, Charles Schulz!
I think Charles Schulz is one of the greatest philosophers of twentieth century, who delivered his philosophy through Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang. I find Linus, that thumb-sucking, blanket-carrying little guy, one of his most loveable characters. When I re-read Linus on Life I found the book packed with nuggets of wisdom Schulz left behind for us as his legacy. Here are a few of excerpts I really enjoyed.
Lucy gives Linus a nature lesson.
You see all these leaves falling? This happens every year. . . this is one of the cycles of nature. There is a real lesson to be learned from this. . .Do you know what it is? she asks Linus.
Linus replies, Don’t be a leaf. . .be a tree.
Linus shares his thoughts about hidden ability when Charlie Brown tells him: Everyone’s so upset because I didn’t make the honor roll. My mother’s upset. My father’s upset. My teacher’s upset. The principal’s upset. . .Good Grief! They all say the same thing. . . they’re disappointed because I have such potential. . .
Linus tells Charlie, I say there’s no heavier burden than a great potential!
When it comes to problem solving, this is what Linus told Charlie Brown: I don’t like to face problems head on. I think the best way to solve problems is to avoid them. This is a distinct philosophy of mine. . .no problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from.
I love the way Schulz used the art of his comic strip to express his own philosophy of life. Those cartoons reflect how humans navigate the ups and downs of life in their own unique ways. Schulz and his characters showed us that falling down is part of life, but getting back up is living.