In my July blog I wrote about my trip to the Charles Schulz Museum in Sonoma, California. I referred to Charles Schultz as being a true philosopher and how he delivered sage advice through his daily comic strip, PEANUTS.
Another comic strip that I have followed for years is Family Circus. Bill Keane shares his wisdom about family and life in such a poignant way. In 1987, he published a Sunday cartoon strip that taught me a life lesson. Billy teacher’s was preparing her class for a writing assignment. She instructed her students to put on their thinking caps before beginning. While the rest of the class is shown with pencils in their hands, Billy is shown with a bubble above his head organizing his thoughts. His reward for doing as he was told was to be reprimanded by the teacher. This cartoon, which hangs on my door to this day, has always reminded me to be patient and ask a child what he/she is thinking before accusing him/her of not paying attention. The wait time is usually worth it.
Mr. Keane, in a comic published on October 5th, 2011, shows Dolly asking her Dad a question while he was working at his desk. She asked, “Daddy, when you were little, were you any good at being a kid?” Wow, I thought, what a question. I thought about how dramatically our world has changed for the kids of today. I thought about the unbelievable juggling acts that families go through on a daily basis and the impact brought about by ever changing technology. I realized that dinner time, which used to be a daily family gathering, is now a goal that many try to achieve one or two times a week. Opportunities to talk and have conversations have become less frequent.
To answer the question posed in the title to this blog, I suggest that you do some personal research. Talk with your kids about how it was when you were their age. Tell them some funny stories and some stories about what used to concern you. Let them share some of their stories. Maybe life isn’t quite so different, after all. And, if you have a second or two, post to our blog. Tell us – are kids today any different than when we were kids?