Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mr. Schulz

Proverbs and sayings about hope, overcoming disappointments, or perseverance can be quite inspiring when one comes across them under ordinary circumstances. In other words, when things are going fine. But for some reason, sayings such as "Every cloud has a silver lining" or "Triumph is just 'try' with a little 'umph" (at least it goes something like that) don't seem to have that much of an impact during moments when the best way to describe your situation is "pasan ko ang daigdig."

The cloud, the lining, the rainbow, the storm -- even the most beautifully phrased quotes from prominent figures in history can ring hollow for some folks even when the message these convey is needed the most. Ironic, huh?

But when you hear of a successful person who experienced setback after setback and then ended up excelling in his field despite the odds, it can make quite an impact on even the most broken spirit. Probably many know of Thomas Edison's thousand or so failures before he perfected the light bulb. Abraham Lincoln is also known for one disappointment after another (death of a fiancee, failing at business twice, eight-time defeat at elections). Talk about perseverance.

I learned just recently that the drawings of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz were rejected by his high school yearbook. But then he went on and continued to draw, eventually coming up with his famous cartoon strip featuring Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Today, a 5-foot statue of Snoopy stands in the main office of the school that rejected his art work decades ago.

(I also learned that the Little Red-Haired Girl in the strip was based on a woman named Donna Mae Johnson, an accountant with whom Mr. Schulz fell in love and who turned him down after he proposed (Donna Mae decided to marry another man.)

Recently, I watched the movie Snoopy, Come Home again partly because our puppies have a habit of running out of the gate whenever they see a chance to do so. It's like they hunger for "the great outdoors" -- meaning the street. And once I wondered what would happen if they actually stayed out and roamed the streets wherever their noses led them, never to come back. Chuck was certainly at his wits' end when he couldn't find an explanation for Snoopy's rushed departure in the movie.

This is one entertaining flick. Thanks, Mr. Schulz :-)

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