I was driving to work the other day thinking of all the things I had to do and also thinking of things I wasn’t supposed to do when all of a sudden I looked up and saw a billboard advertising the new “Peanuts” movie. I found myself smiling, forgetting all the reality the past 65 years had taught me.

Thanks, Charlie Brown, for helping me survive my younger years. In fact, thanks for helping get through my life. You showed me that being overweight and a bit uncoordinated was OK as long as you tried to be a good person. Even though confidence was a foreign concept to me, I still tried because you always tried. Even when you failed to win a baseball game or kick that football, it was all right because everyone around you respected and loved you because you tried.

Thanks for showing me it took all kinds of people to make up our world. I now know my life will be fuller if I took a little bit of the personalities that surround me every day.

Schroeder’s love for music enlightened my life because I now understand that art and music are what makes us truly human. Linus’ love for words and philosophy made me want to understand the thoughts and ideas of those who lived before me.

Snoopy showed me that being a bit crazy was really OK. That lovable dog showed me dreaming was a part of the human spirit and an imagination put one in the magic kingdom whenever one wanted to go.

Charlie Brown’s “little red-haired girl” made me understand it was OK to want something even if the fulfillment of the quest was simply impossible. He never gave up. He just continued to dream. Lucy showed me to respect everyone even though they were abrasive and seemingly uncaring. But Charlie demonstrated that even the most miserable of people had a heart and a soul. For every time Lucy pulled that football away from Charlie Brown, she always waited to see if he was OK.

Thanks, Charlie Brown, for all your characters like Pigpen, who showed me that being clean all the time was like throwing a gate to the wind. Thanks for the tiny yellow birds that flew around Snoopy demonstrating loyalty and why it is one of the most important human traits. Thanks for bringing in the new kids of the strip to show that everything had a future and that future would always be bright.

Thanks, Charlie Brown, for helping me mature into the kind of person I wanted to be. Thanks for giving me the will to never give up and the understanding that there are all types of people in our world. Thanks, Charles Schulz, for putting the characters of your imagination into all of our minds.

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