It’s OK to be a blockhead

When I finally succumb to one too many nail-biting New England Patriots’ games, I want for people who knew me to say just one thing in my memory: “He reminded me of Charlie Brown.”

For me, that would be the ultimate epitaph. 

I don’t want people to remember me as a blockhead; a neurotic individual with little or no self-esteem; a perpetual loser; an introvert; and a laughing stock — all of which have been, at one time or another, traits of the beloved “Peanuts” character created by the beloved Charles Schulz.

And, truth be told, all the aforementioned characteristics have been, at one time or another, mine as well.

As a young lad I knew certain “friends” in the neighborhood would make fun of my small stature and timid personality.

Before I even hit high school, I often felt inferior to some of the area kids.

In high school I had my share of friends, good friends; but in comparison to them, I was an outsider, a no name. In fact, one of the major reasons I’ve never attended a high school (or college) reunion is because I don’t think all that many classmates would remember me. I had friends in all the high school categories: the jocks, the brains, and even the “not-so-scholarly,” but I really had no group of which I was truly a part.

The trend continued in college; largely because of my demure stature and my shyness. Aside from my portrait photo, there isn’t another image of me in the college yearbook.

Even in the workforce, I’ve encountered alpha individuals in every job I’ve held. And even as my dear friends at The Anchor and I diligently work to keep the paper in print, there are the detractors, some coming from sources that would surprise you.

Yep, my Charlie Brown persona follows me everywhere.

I watched the 50th anniversary of good old Chuck on TV last night, and while I thought the production was lame and concentrated more on the guests than the honoree, it did remind me of the great virtues by which Charlie Brown leads his perpetually pre-teen life: honesty, caring, sympathy, charity, simplicity, and a heart as enormous as his “big, round head.”

During the show last night Schulz said that in the very first “Charlie Brown Christmas,” airing on national TV, he HAD to get in Luke’s Gospel account of the Birth of Christ. Unheard of then as it is now — very Charlie Brownesque.

I don’t care that I wasn’t the neighborhood hero, the BMOC in high school or college, or a CEO in the real world.

What I hope I have achieved and will achieve is living my life like Charlie Brown. In this upcoming Year of Mercy, that’s not a bad example to follow.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts