Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Praise of Snoopy


On my way up the stairs to the gym I see a poster of Snoopy, bigger than life size, reminding people to "Please remember to sign up for the cardio machines." I know, of course, that "life size" isn't really relevant but you get the idea.

If you look around, you'll notice how ubiquitous Snoopy is. It's as if he follows us everywhere to remind us of stuff, to provide us with cautionary warnings, or just to be a model of all things wholesome in the world. When you go to the dentist because one of your teeth is cracked in half and your gums on the other side are covered in festering pustules, you're going to feel a whole lot better when you see Snoopy holding his sore tooth and wearing a hankie tied at the top of his head. "You're not in this alone, my friend," he seems to say. He offers greetings for every holiday and he's got his dark side too--the Joe Cool persona that hangs around pool halls looking baaad. Mostly, he's the model of the best friend ever. I mean, you just want to hug him to death.

Why shouldn't he be the spokes-dog for just about everything? He accomplishes all of his work without ever opening his mouth! He's so empathetic, all he has to do is think and we know what he means. Like a master of Zen Buddhism, he teaches by example showing us that the Way is through reflection and quiet contemplation and all we need for that is balance. Otherwise we'll fall off the roof.

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