Thursday, March 19, 2015

Charles Schulz Theory

Before you dive into this blog post, play along with the following activity.

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 pageant.
4  Name five people who 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.

Unless you're extremely up-to-date and have a super memory for current events, I'm fairly certain that you couldn't name all of the people. Now try this exercise. (You might find it a little easier)

Charles Schulz; The Peanuts comic strip creator
1. List three 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 three people who have made you feel appreciated.
5. List five people you enjoy spending time with.

I'm sure that you breezed through the second set of questions. But why is it that in the first set of questions, when asked about people deemed famous and successful, you struggled with their names? The answer lies within your own life.

When your dog dies and you need a shoulder to cry on, you're not going to seek comfort in Johnny Manziel. When you need someone to chat with, you would never think to call Bill Gates or Meryl Streep on your cellphone. That would be silly. You would talk with your best friend, your neighbor, your parent.

What this illustrates is that you don't need to be a well-known celebrity in order to matter in this world. The 'normal,' everyday people around you are those who are truly making an impact on your life by being there to support you. Relatively speaking, they are your celebrity.

So if you're ever feeling inadequate or unimportant in this world, just remember the Charles Schulz Theory. (It's ironic because Charles Schulz--the comic writer of The Peanuts--did not come up with the theory. It erroneously became associated with him because of his fame status.)

The key message is to never forget that you are on someone's list. You are the one who has taught that friend something worthwhile, or perhaps has helped them through a tough time. In my opinion, simply being there for someone is just as incredible, just as important, as being a critically acclaimed actor, athlete, or politician.

The Peanuts gang celebrates who they are