Good Grief, I Learned a Lot, Charlie Brown!

By: Jim M. Allen

For 50 years the daily comic strip 'Peanuts'
entertained millions of readers. Every day, the
adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and
the whole gang provided many laugh-out-loud
moments while at the same time offering a daily
inspiration and lessons on life.

With the recent death of 'Peanuts' creator
Charles Schulz, I reflect on how much I enjoyed
sharing the adventures of the 'Peanuts' gang and
I remember the many lessons they taught me...

1. It's okay to be afraid... just don't let your
fears control you. Charlie Brown often sat in bed
and spoke of his fears, but no matter how scared
he was, he always did the things he wanted to do.

2. Persistence wins out. Charlie Brown often
lost, failed at much, but he never gave up. Even
though he knew Lucy was going to pull the
football away before he could kick it.... Even
though he knew the tree was going to eat his
kite... Even though he knew his team would lose
the ball game, he kept on trying.

3. It's what you think of yourself that counts.
Linus carried a security blanket for years and
his friends laughed at him.

They also laughed at
him because he believed in the "Great Pumpkin."
Pigpen was a walking cloud of dust and dirt and
was often regarded unkindly. Both characters,
however, were always proud of themselves and
believed they were as good as anybody else -- and
they were right.

4. Sometimes you need to talk. One thing the
'Peanuts' gang understood was the importance of
talking things out. Whether leaning up against
Schroeder's piano or atop the brick wall, they
always had someplace to discuss what was of
concern to them.

5. Sometimes you need to listen. Even crabby,
self-indulged Lucy knew the importance of
listening. She started the famous 'Psychiatry
Booth' where any and all could come and be heard.

6. Do what you love to do. Through all their
adventures, Schroeder remained constant in his
appreciation of Beethoven and his love of playing
the piano. He loved to play piano and that's what
he did, regardless of the circumstances. Charlie
Brown flew his kite, played baseball and
football, not just to win (he knew he wouldn't),
but because he loved to do those things.

7. It's important to have friends that care. The
'Peanuts' gang was made up of individual
characters, each with their own foibles and
talents, but through it all they were always
there for each other.

8. Big dreams lead to big things. Snoopy was the
biggest dreamer of them all, but his wild
imagination often led to even wilder, more
fantastic adventures in real life. Snoopy knew
that you must have a big dream if you are going
to lead a big life.

9. Action creates reality. As Charlie Brown was
reminded time and again after prodding from
Linus: it takes action to bring about change.
Though he often failed, Chuck took action quite
regularly... and every now and again things would
go his way.

10. Laugh every day! While the kids themselves
may not have seen the humor in the things they
did, Schulz made sure that we did. Life is only
as serious or as humorous as YOU make it.

Lighten up. Go play softball. Fly a kite. Dance
with your dog. Smile... it makes people wonder
what you're up to.

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