Find Your Peanut Gang

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“Few people are successful unless other people want them to be.” -Charlie Brown

“There is never a heavier burden than great potential” -Linus

Charlie:  I can’t stop thinking about it, Linus. After all the humiliating disasters she witnessed this year, why would she choose me? Was she feeling sorry for me? I don’t want her to choose me just because she was feeling sorry for me. I have slightly more dignity than that.

Linus: Charlie Brown, it might be time to consider the wild possibility that you’re a good person and that people like you. But you know, you’ll never really know the answer, unless… [you ask her]   -The Peanuts Movie

I’m a product of the 90’s.  In my opinion one of the most unique decades in recent history.  This time period gave us brightly colored neon clothes, boy bands, and some of the most unique and popular toy brands ever.  Anyone who knew me growing up can tell you that I ate up many of those memorable TV shows, movies, and music.  I enjoyed watching Pokemon, Power Rangers, Transformers, and many others and played with my toys for hours.  One of the most popular cartoons and comic strips was “The Peanuts.”  Although this comic strip debuted in the 1940s, it continued to stay popular into 2000 until the author, Charles Shulz, decided to retire.

“Peanuts” centered around a lovable, kind, and compassionate boy, Charlie Brown.  Charlie desired to be the most popular and most talented student in school.  He wanted the spotlight and wanted to be the best he could be.  The comics followed him as he made attempts to try new activities and survive school with his friends Linus, Peppermint Patty. Lucy, Sally, and even his beagle Snoopy among many others.  Despite his efforts and desire to be better, Charlie Brown continues to fail and embarrass himself in front of his friends.  To add insult to injury, most of his friends had specific talents.  Lucy was a natural born leader.  Peppermint Patty was a great athlete.  Linus gave great advice and had wisdom well beyond his years.  Even Snoopy had a fantastic and wild imagination.  He uses it to write about his character, Flying Ace, and his battles against the Red Baron.

I recently watched the newest addition to the Peanuts franchise, “The Peanuts Movie.”  As expected, the film followed Charlie Brown as he works to impress his friends and a new girl at school.  Throughout the film, Charlie continues to fail and embarrass himself. When it seems that Charlie Brown is a hopeless case, he makes a huge realization.  Charlie Brown always thought he had to be talented, confident, and smart to be popular.  Through several interactions, he realizes that those factors don’t matter.  Charlie is still liked and accepted by his friends.  They like him for who he is instead of who he is not.  Charlie Brown is a good person.  He cares for others, works hard, and has unwavering honesty.  Once Charlie makes that realization, he achieves the confidence to talk to his crush, the Little Red Headed Girl.  During their conversation, the girl reinforces that Charlie is a kind, honest, and compassionate person.

Ok, so I know that was a strung out explanation.  But, I feel it was necessary.  I wanted to set the stage for my message: “find those who see the best in you.” You will interact with MANY people along your journey.  Some will like you, some will not.  That’s a hard truth to swallow.  Some people will try to bring you down and focus on what you are not.  The sad reality is that some people feel they have to impress these people.  I even had that belief in high school: “If I get the attention of the ‘cool crowd’, I will gain their acceptance and ultimately build up my confidence.  Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into a group of people or an individual, some people just won’t care.  Instead, find people who like you for you.  Find those people who support you and cheer you up.  Find those people who give you their time, honest opinion, and effort in return.  Invest your time, opinions, and efforts in return.  Relationships will flourish and you will become your best self.  You may be surprised of the result.  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!

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