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Category: Citizenship, Culture, Education, Government, History, Law, Liberty, Monticello College, Politics, Religion, Virtue Comments: 3

The Charles Schulz Philosophy


Charles Schultz
Charles Schultz

Although this philosophy has often been attributed to the creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, there is no evidence that he actually penned it.  Regardless who the author is, it still makes my point.
In our capacities as fathers and mothers, family protectors, and business decision makers, we all have to measure other people.
We have to judge who to trust, to help us, and who to lead us. Who will I trust with my kids?  Who will I do business with? Who do I trust as a political leader? Who do I trust for investment advise?
The list goes on.  What I am really saying is that we have to make judgments about others everyday.
The question is what criteria are we using when we make these judgments?
In the quest to build leaders it is easy to say that we want them to have impact in society, to make a difference, to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” Ok, I agree with that, but what character qualities, what skills, what disciplines do we want to inculcate in these future leaders to achieve the desired “change?”
What follows is the philosophy of Charles Schulz (or someone else).
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 pageant.
4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, few 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.
And we seem to be little effected by these momentary achievements.
images (1)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.
6. Identify 2 mentors who helped to open the doors of life for you.
7. Recall one act of kindness that forever changed your perspective on life.
The lesson: 

The people who make a difference in your life are almost never the ones with the most credentials, the most money…or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
In fact, I submit that people who make a positive difference in your life are probably making a positive difference in the lives of others at the same time.  Good people are usually good to everybody.
These criteria should also apply to our leaders. High achievement is contagious and helps to raise the standard for all of us, so yes when possible we want our leaders to be the best in their fields, but we also need leaders who are not afraid to admit mistakes, we need leaders who genuinely care for others, we need leaders who are charitable in their private lives, we need leaders who are truth and principle driven, and who are self-deprecating and humble.
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be [their] rulers . . .”
(Exodus 18:21)
It is time we reexamined this whole leadership thing.
images (4)After all, we are the ones who decide who we are going to follow—a basic requirement for leadership.
So if we get to decide who the leaders are why are we choosing so many bad leaders?
Or maybe bad leadership is not the issue here.  Maybe bad choosing is the real problem.
When we choose leaders, are we more concerned about what is in their hearts or are we more interested in what is in their wallet and how much that will benefit us?
When we choose leaders do we care more about how they think or who they know?
When we choose leaders are we more interested in what they do when few are looking or do we value the intuitive skill of smelling out a good photo op?
Again I say, it is time we reexamined this whole leadership thing.

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Comments (3)

  • Jonathan Mecham

    Spot on. We’re in the midst of a leadership crisis. I’m comforted to know that great leaders like Shanon Brooks are doing their part to teach correct principles and train up new leaders.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:35 am
  • Melissa Draper

    I think it’s important to start this at the most local level, who will we choose to lead our children? Who will we choose to lead in our neighborhood, in our towns and counties? Before we can get our nations in order, we ought to have our states and provinces in order. And even before they are in order, is our own house in order? Your second list of questions was inspiring, thank you!

    March 28, 2013 at 7:07 am
  • Chris N.

    Excellent, as always!
    I was reading “Ameritopia” by Mark Levin last night and I was on the chapter about De Tocqueville and “Democracy in America”. I was reminded about the “soft despotism” that De Tocqueville described and I came away convinced that we are nearly there.
    We are at the point where we are free to make few choices for ourselves, and most of them are insignificant, however, every November we are the given the illusion that we remain free and in control of our liberties because we can vote for one of two, or maybe three, “choices” for elected offices. Once the contest is decided, we return to our self-focused slumber and pay little attention to what is being done in our name and to our liberties.
    The people that we are given to choose from are not necessarily the best or the brightest, but they are usually the most ambitious and well-connected – the very kind that Franklin warned us against if we made public service profitable.
    If you are reading this, then you are probably one of the watchmen sounding the alarm. Take heart! It seems that events of late have awakened more citizens and we are even seeing the millennial generation more engaged, at least here in upstate NY.
    I believe we can still be effective, but we must keep self-educating and educating those who are coming up behind us. I have a co-worker who recently started asking me questions, so I gave her my copy of “The 5000 Year Leap” and we are now discussing what she is reading and learning from each other. (She made a very interesting observation about the need for balance between tyranny and anarchy in regards to setting rules for her child.)
    We can be the leaders of this and the next turning if we are rooted in truth and principle gained from classical education.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:38 am

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