Good Grief: Or how I learned to enjoy the fall


There is no shortage of misery in the real world, all of us know how hard the simple act of getting up in the morning can be. Going out of your home and into a hostile world that cares not for footballs and kites. It’s so easy to resign yourself to the mundane, to stick to what you know and stop trying.

Charlie Brown is a little bald white boy from pine tree corners. Charlie Brown is a lot of things but a winner he is not. He has never been able to kick a football, to fly a kite, or to spell the word beagle. He isn’t a particularly special or gifted boy, in fact most who know him can describe him only as average. Not a master scammer like Lucy, or a pianist like Schroeder. He is by all means, a normal, boring boy. And yet despite all of this, despite the universe  itself turning Charlie Brown’s life into one big cosmic comedy, he does have one special thing about him. No matter how many times he trips onto his back and hits his head, no matter how many times Lucy takes the ball away, no matter how many times his kite gets decimated by the winds, Charlie Brown never stops. He always runs at his fastest and puts everything behind kicking the football.

It often seems like everything in Charlie Brown’s life is against him. The kids of the neighborhood don’t really respect him, and his closest friend is a prodigy at everything he does. Linus has never failed at anything he tries his hardest at, while Charlie Brown has never won a single thing in his life. But Charlie Brown doesn’t resent Linus or anyone for this. He continues to spend his free time playing tic tac toe and baseball with him, trying his best to get an edge.

In a way, all of us are Charlie Brown, trying our hardest to kick that football and always coming a bit short. Until recently, I had given up on kicking the football, resigned to the fact that I was doomed to live a life that didn’t feel like mine, doing things that I didn’t want to do. After all, I had no gifts to speak of, no advantage in a world full of special people. I know people who let ink flow from their pen like blood flows through our veins, people who can make an image come to life, and music that would make the best of orchestras in gasp in awe. They do this as if it is built into their very nature, like if they couldn’t’ they would no longer be themselves. Upon reflection, I had realized the simple fact that I was just as human as anyone else.

But then I thought about football again, about kites and baseball games. Charlie’s little bald head falling onto the ground, being ridiculed. The sting of failure. But for the first time I had finally seen what made Charlie, and in return, all of us special. I saw him get back up, get back in position, and try again. He did it again, and again and again. Now that’s not to say that the failure didn’t hurt him, he definitely felt every blow to his pride and every bruise on his head. But with a simple “good grief” he would get back up and try again.

I am no prodigy, not gifted in the muses, mathematics, or athletics. The universe itself has decided that my life is to be a comedy of cosmic proportions. But I, like Charlie Brown, and like you have a special gift inside of me. I can get up, and try again. Maybe it will take a bit more time for me to actually get back up, but that’s okay, the football will still be there. Maybe there will always be a Lucy planning to take the ball away at the last second, but that’s okay, I have got many Linus’s to be there when I fall. And maybe I will never kick that football, but it’s okay because as long as I can keep trying, I will never be miserable again. I will get up, say “good grief” and try again. And you should too.