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On the Other Hand — Words of wisdom from Charles Schulz PDF Print
Saturday, April 12, 2014 8:00 PM

What parent hasn’t felt a little twinge of jealousy when their child names a famous person who has influenced their life choices? Be it LeBron James or some other sports star or perhaps a movie or music star. How scary are the last two? Right now, it’s easier to find famous people in rehab than it is on Rodeo Drive or in Hollywood. Few fit the mold as role model except for drug abuse, eating disorders and somewhat questionable behavior.

As parents, we hope that we have the most impact on our children’s lives. We cultivate relationships with them and try to foster the trust that leads to us knowing what is going on in their heads so we can derail the “crazy train” before it leaves the station.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read it straight through and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman Trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.

4. Name 10 people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. They are the ones who have seen us at our best — and worst — and are still around in spite of it.


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