Charles Schulz has to rank among the very few comic strip authors who are both humorous and philosophical, pragmatic and ridiculous. As a kid, I related to Charlie Brown much like many other kids my age: he was struggling to see where he fits in the metaphysical realm we call “life”; he was struggling to make sense of a bizarre culture that he didn’t quite understand; he was struggling to meander through the complexities of relationships without getting crushed; he was trying to remain upbeat and to find happiness in an oft cruel and unpredictable world. Most kids can relate to all of these things. At the same time, Charlie Brown discovers and confronts all of these philosophical inquiries through average, everyday living (unless we consider the Great Pumpkin as a delusional episode that should have been diagnosed, drugged, and therapized instead of casually labeling it as a reflection of childhood imagination). But does Charlie Brown offer any relevance to adults? I’m over 40 (which is okay – some cultures say life begins at 40 – I like those cultures – I may go join one of their off grid communities and reignite my much needed zen studies). Somehow, even at 40+, Charlie Brown still finds some corner of relevance in my life. No, I’m not talking about sponsoring a good laugh – I’m talking about the truisms you find in his oft witty dialogues (or self reflecting monologues) – like this one:
Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”
Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”
How true is that? A chronic insomniac myself, I often wake up pondering over life’s challenges and wondering how many times I have to screw up before I learn the lessons of life that will guide me to that ethereal realm of never-ending blissfulness from learning the mysteries of the universe. **sigh** I confess, it has taken me more than one night and I’m still feeling a little lost – like Charlie Brown. Good Grief.