I cut this Peanuts comic strip out of the newspaper over 13 years ago. It’s not as old or as profound as The Dead Sea Scrolls, but it is old and even though the message is presented lightly, it is profound.
The message can easily be applied to anything, but for this post I’m going to apply it to writing and I’m going to call it Charlie Brown on Writing, even though the sentiment I want to discuss is delivered by Lucy, let’s face it, she just doesn’t have the brand awareness of Charlie Brown.
In the comic strip, it’s obvious that Lucy has a plan and it is contingent on her taking responsibility for Charlie Brown’s life. That sounds simple but like most simple sounding things, it has some underlying depth.
I don’t believe that passing the buck is in our genes, but I do believe that it has become so accepted as a the way to do things that it appears to be in our genes. Only one person can change my life – me. Only one person can change your life – you. In fact, Lucy, you should note that only one person can change Charlie Brown’s life – that person is Charlie Brown.
Once we determine to take responsibility for our lives rather than it blame our failures on someone or something else, we’ve stepped on to the only path that leads to change. When we choose to do something about, say our writing, we’ve taken the first step to changing it. Until we take that first step, subsequent steps will only cause us to fall flat on our face.
When they become cliche, profound messages are usually missed.