Life Lessons from Charles Schultz

I received the following email from a friend back on March 2006:

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail 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.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.

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.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. A day when family and friends gather to commemorate all that we are thankful for in life. Of all the things I’m thankful for, I would most like to thank God for blessing me with caring and loving people — family, friends, and even strangers who I don’t even know. Strangers who insisted that I walk through the door first even though CLEARLY I was the one who provoked the act of kindness by first opening the door and then stepping aside as to say “Please, you first.” We were holding up the door so yes, I went first. Anyways…

Who are you thankful for? Take time tomorrow — and really, everyday — to reflect and give thanks to those who have supported you. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Image courtesy of Flickr, Gisela Giardino.

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