I found this really cool website to help me with my themes for this blog. I should share that site actually as I will never be able to write on every single topic, but there are somethings worth discussing. For instance, today, Oct. 2, apparently is International Day of Non-Violence and it’s the anniversary of when the first “Peanuts” comic strip was published in 1950 by Charles M. Schulz. I clearly want to discuss the issue of non-violence for obvious reasons, but I also thought it appropriate to talk about the Peanuts cartoon because as it just so happens, Schulz spent some time in my current hometown, Needles.
Mohandas Ghandi, usually known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born Oct. 2, 1869. I don’t know all the particulars of his life and I know some have read his biography and I’m sure I’ll need to eventually also. From what I understand, he was far from perfect but what he did do has changed the world. Leading India to independence without ever raising a fist or firing a weapon is a feat unlike any other in my mind. His birthday is a national holiday and internationally known as International Non-Violence Day.
It’s a little ironic that just as this day as come around, as it obviously does every year, that this year in this country we’re hit with so much outrage over a closed government because of the negative impacts it will and already has had on many people. It’s “spooky” to think of all that could go wrong with a government shutdown. I absolutely understand and even agree with the anger and frustration that is directed at our government. Their handling of the budget situation has been less than stellar to say the least. It’s one thing to disagree on something (in this case ObamaCare) another to disagree the point of shutting down, making sure people don’t get paid but you still do. It’s ridiculous.
That said, despite the well-placed (in my opinion well-placed) anger and frustration, I hope that this won’t spur violence and even more hate. Those emotions and reactions, while at times certainly understandable, typically only cause more harm than good. It was a slow process, but Gandhi probably got more accomplished in his peaceful, yet resilient and determined resolve than anyone who’s taken up violence. Perhaps if it wasn’t virtually only one man, maybe if it were an entire society taking up those types of actions, then perhaps more could be done quicker. I realize that’s a bit naive and possibly wishful thinking, but I suppose this is where I pull a John Lennon and join his group of dreamers. As long as we say it’s not possible, it won’t be but the moment we give peace/peaceful resolution a genuine chance and follow through, it can and will happen. Gandhi and many others since him, have proven this. One of my all time favorite Gandhi quotes: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” It’s almost “spooky” to think how much we could really influence things if we’d really just work at it a bit more.
As for “Peanuts,” well, as I said this all fits into my theme for October. Why you ask? Well, there’s always the Great Pumpkin for one. As Linus once said: “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.” Kind of spooky how spot on that is huh? Apparently the story goes, that Linus is the one who goes out into the pumpkin patch on Halloween and awaits for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, who never shows up. The Great Pumpkin is essentially like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
This Great Pumpkin character, who never is actually seen, was first mentioned in 1959. It later meant a t.v. special called “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” in 1966. I’m sure many people have seen it and love it. Who couldn’t? First off, it’s Charlie Brown and company and second, it all relates to Halloween. It’s all good stuff.
Some of what I enjoy of the Peanuts comic strip also is the personal touches Schulz put into it. As I’ve mentioned before, as least I think I have, is that Spike, one of Snoopy’s brothers, is a Needles resident. Well, actually, he lives out in the surrounding desert but comes into town as he needs to. He tends to use the chamber of commerce for electricity for his decorated cactus during the holidays. He’s a funny character and this community loves him.
With that, I shall leave you with a little tune you may know – “Imagine” by John Lennon. I find it fitting for International Non-Violence Day.