Let's say that life is this square of the sidewalk. We are born at this crack and we die at that crack. Now we find ourselves somewhere inside the square and in the process of walking outside of it. Suddenly, we realize our time in here is fleeting. Is our quick experience here pointless? Does anything we say or do in here really matter? Have we done anything important? Have we been happy? Have we made the most of these precious few footsteps?
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Hobbes: Jump! Jump! Jump! I win! Calvin: You win? Aaugghh! You won last time! I hate it when you win! Aarrggh! Mff! Gnnk! I hate this game! I hate the whole world! Aghhh! What a stupid game! You must have cheated! You must have used some sneaky, underhanded mindmeld to make me lose! I hate you! I didn't want to play this idiotic game in the first place! I knew you'd cheat! I knew you'd win! Oh! Oh! Aarg! [Calvin runs in circles around Hobbes screaming "Aaaaaaaaaaaa", then falls over.] Hobbes: Look, it's just a game. Calvin: I know! You should see me when I lose in real life!
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Wow, it really snowed last night! Isn't it wonderful? Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand new! A new year ... a fresh, clean start! It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on! A day full of possibilities! It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy ... let's go exploring!
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Calvin: Look, a dead bird! Hobbes: It must've hit a window. Calvin: Isn't it beautiful? It's so delicate. Sighhh... once it's too late, you appreciate what a miracle life is. You realize that nature is ruthless and our existence is very fragile, temporary, and precious. But to go on with your daily affairs, you can't really think about that...which is probably why everyone takes the world for granted and why we act so thoughtlessly. It's very confusing. I suppose it will all make sense when we grow up. Hobbes: No doubt.
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Since September it's just gotten colder and colder. There's less daylight now, I've noticed too. This can only mean one thing - the sun is going out. In a few more months the Earth will be a dark and lifeless ball of ice. Dad says the sun isn't going out. He says its colder because the earth's orbit is taking us farther from the sun. He says winter will be here soon. Isn't it sad how some people's grip on their lives is so precarious that they'll embrace any preposterous delusion rather than face an occasional bleak truth?
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CALVIN: This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn't make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery? If the guy exists why doesn't he ever show himself and prove it? And if he doesn't exist what's the meaning of all this? HOBBES: I dunno. Isn't this a religious holiday? CALVIN: Yeah, but actually, I've got the same questions about God.
Some days you get up and you already know that things aren't going to go well. They're the type of days when you should just give in, put your pajamas back on, make some hot chocolate and read comic books in bed with the covers up until the world looks more encouraging. Of course, they never let you do that.
Susie: Hi Calvin! Aren't you excited about going to school? Look at all these great school supplies I got! I love having new notebooks and stuff! Calvin:All I've got to say is they're not making me learn any foreign languages. If English is good enough for me, then by golly, it's good enough for the rest of the world! Everyone should just speak English or shut up, that's what I say! Susie: You should maybe check the chemical content of your breakfast cereal.
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Why isn't my life like a situation comedy? Why don't I have a bunch of friends with nothing better to do but drop by and instigate wacky adventures? Why aren't my conversations peppered with spontaneous witticisms? Why don't my friends demonstrate heartfelt concern for my well being when I have problems? ...I gotta get my life some writers.
I wish people were more like animals. Animals don't try to change you or make you fit in. They just enjoy the pleasure of your company. Animals aren't conditional about friendships. Animals like you just the way you are. They listen to your problems, they comfort you when you're sad, and all they ask in return is a little kindness.
We don't value craftsmanship anymore! All we value is ruthless efficiency, and I say we deny our own humanity that way! Without appreciation for grace and beauty, there's no pleasure in creating things and no pleasure in having them! Our lives are made drearier, rather than richer! How can a person take pride in his work when skill and care are considered luxuries! We're not machines! We have a human need for craftsmanship!
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Nowadays, ads don't just sell a product. They sell an attitude! Look at this one! Here's a cool guy saying nobody tells him what to do. He does whatever he wants and he buys this product as a reflection of that independence. So basically, this maverick is urging everyone to express his individuality through conformity in brand-name selection?
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it's to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential - as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You'll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you're doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you'll hear about them. To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble.
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Ms. Wormwood: Calvin, can you tell us what Lewis and Clark did? Calvin: No, but I can recite the secret superhero origin of each member of Captain Napalm's Thermonuclear League of Liberty. Ms. Wormwood: See me after class, Calvin. Calvin: [retrospectively] I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
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