The world of Calvin and Hobbes is incredibly full of wit and wisdom. I never could fathom the hidden meanings until I was an adult. There are deeper layers of wisdom disguised in seemingly innocent dialogues between a rambunctious kid and his stuffed toy tiger who some say was his imaginary friend and some maintain that he was an impressive depiction of Calvin’s own conscience. According to Bill Watterson, the creator, Hobbes is more of a subjective nature of reality than dolls coming to life.
Here are the few of the many-many times when this renowned comic strip remarkably captured life’s complexities and simplicities:
What might have seemed to be an innocent act by Calvin in the first frame changed as soon as Hobbes opened his mouth. We all were left speechless. This strip was released in 1995, years before the first petition to close the zoos were signed.
Calvin, a 6-year-old boy, released the butterfly. Time for us to understand that animals are the inseparable part of our ecosystem irrespective of their size and our ego. William Inge puts it perfectly, “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”
Count your blessings
Life seems to be a complex labyrinth at times and we begin to ponder if we are the unlucky ones. As it dawned on Calvin, it is still not the worst. There will always be a way out. While we discover the ways out of this maze, we will realize the hidden wisdom on the way out. The time taken is essential for the growth. You can find the blessings in bad times or you can look for the bad in blessings. Your perception determines your reality.
Live, don’t just exist
We sometimes become slaves to the routines of life and forget that life is to be lived fully and not just merely existing. Paying bills is not your life goal. Experiencing life in its purest form sounds better. Isn’t it? In pursuit of something better for the future, we forget to enjoy the present moment. Life is the vast field where your knees should be green by the end of the day. Highs or lows, both will serve us in some way. Experiences are what makes us, breaks us and re-make us.
The bigger picture
No matter how grand our life and the associated problems may seem, we are just a tiny speck in the universe. The issues and crisis are as big as we perceive them. When we observe from the universe’s lens, it is just a minuscule event which will live its destiny. One who understands the ethereal nature of life doesn’t dwell in the illusion of its mayhem. Though, each dust speck has a role to play, for himself and for the matrix of the universe. The lesson here is not to blow up the size of the ego which in turn will run the risk of blinding you towards the larger rationale of life.
The plans for future
We are constantly living in the future, mostly fearing it. The present moment is often lived planning the future which in reality, will come with its own plan. The calamity makes us realize that. Being present in the present moment makes us live as it comes and accepts the assortment of emotions and lessons it brings along. Wonder if calamity is necessary as a speed breaker in our journey to remind us the things we take for granted…
The value of the inner world
Solitude brings the much-needed break from the chaos of life and the time to undergo a self-reflection. We keep renewing ourselves by gently digging up those vices which have taken roots inside us. We tend to get lost in the whirlwind of outside world and overlook the whispers of the world inside us. The beauty of compassion is seen with the eyes that can look through the deep insides of everything. Nature is a living entity, however, is being ignored and exploited by those who forget to see within. Nature grew at its own pace and mysterious ways along with the wildlife- the original inhabitants of the planet. We are the encroachers who now claim to be the residents of planet earth. We are not destructing earth, we are destructing ourselves. Nature will find its own way to flourish after we demolish ourselves. The key is to co-exist in harmony. Knowing the world within opens our eyes to a newer world outside with empathetic approach.
The world of Calvin and Hobbes will never cease to make us both chuckle and awestruck at the profound repartee between them. Grateful to Bill Watterson.
May the cosmos brings us wisdom laced with wit!