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5 Lessons That I Took Away From Calvin and Hobbes

Posted: April 28, 2015

A popular comic strip can hold many truths about life. We can learn many lessons from Calvin and Hobbes, the little boy and his imaginary friend.

Ever wondered that a comic strip can hold so many secrets to life? When I came across Calvin and Hobbes, the most popular comic strip worldwide, I was filled with awe and a regret at the same time. Awed by its subtle humour and regret for missing such a wonderful piece of art during my childhood. Wrapped in humour and wit are the various truths of life!

Wrapped in humour and wit are the various truths of life!

The comic strip revolves around Calvin, a six-year-old boy with profound perspectives on life and his fantasy friend Hobbes (a stuffed tiger doll, which comes to life in his private musings). The child makes you chuckle and contemplate at the same time over the bigger idea making it a must read for all the adults  and kids who never want to lose their childhood. After all, Calvin says, “Childhood is short and maturity is forever“.

Calvin’s friend Hobbes is a creation of his mind, yet together they explore the world and its endless possibilities. Really, what a gift imagination is!

Given below are some of my takeaways from this comic strip.

1. Know yourself

“We all have different desires and needs, but if we don’t discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled.”

Often we come across people who are not happy with their lives, their carriers, their relationships, and so on. The reason for this being they never knew what they wanted. For example, at my office 7 out of 10 people are those who never wanted to be in the job they are currently in. However, they realized it much later. Not only while choosing a career, it happens even in relationships. So many people sulk over their failed relationships.

However, the truth is that unless and until we know ourselves and what we want from life we are bound to make wrong choices. So, it is important to spend time with yourself alone, to introspect, and discover who we are. My teacher says, “Life is not only beautiful, but very beautiful only if you know what you want out of it”.

2. Life is in the moments

“If good things lasted forever, would we appreciate how precious they are?”

We often wish that the good old days of our lives would come back. When we were at school, we wished for weekends to come as we hated being at school. However, when we left school for college, we wished the time would go back. Similar was the case when college ended and we headed off to make our careers. However, nothing is permanent in our life.

We can’t stagnate as time goes on. Had it been we got all what we wanted, we would never have appreciated it the way we do it today. Life is in the moments that we make along our way. Live them fully, for when you will look back you will realize they were big things.

3. Accept and believe

Mrs. Wormwood (Calvin’s teacher): “What state do you live in?”

Calvin: “Denial”.

Truly, denial is the state of our mind we spend most part of our life in. We are never satisfied with the way we are and often want to live someone else’s life. Often the relations or riches in our friend’s, colleague’s or even a stranger’s life seem to be much better than ours. Rather than accepting who we are and what we have, we wish to escape from our life. If only we could accept and believe in ourselves, brushing aside our imaginary fears and insecurities, life would be a lot more beautiful.

4. Choose between success and principlesCalvin-Hobbes-calvin-and-hobbes-23762780-1280-800

“Still, in the real world, people care about success, not principles. Then again, maybe that’s why the world is such a mess. What a dilemma!”

Little Calvin faces an ethical dilemma while cheating on a test. Whether he should cheat and succeed or accept the consequences for not studying? Through his statement Calvin brings to light the universal problem we allface in our lives when we have to choose between success and our principles.

What should we opt for? Bend our rules or stick to it? We fail this test of life on many an occasions. Perhaps, that is why our life seems to be a mess at times because in real world few care about principles.

5. Appreciate nature

“Wow, look at the grass stains on my skin. I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”

Exploring new heavens in the womb of nature, lying down beneath a cool shade of a tree and doing nothing but sleep, and splashing or jumping in the ponds are some of the things Calvin and Hobbes do in their afternoons. However, the beauty and magic of nature remains under appreciated by kids of our generation. The advanced technology, gadgets, iphones, and numerous other equipments have become a part of our culture.

Nature needs to be preserved and appreciated. For in the womb of nature one can find peace and tranquility. Younger generation must be taught to relish the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples, and pear, the pleasure of experiencing an unconditional love from pets rather than making appliances and equipment the center of their lives. For, nature is its own reward.

And, this is not the end. There is much more  to learn from the comic. Lessons are endless.

Fun, madness, innocence, adventure, and childhood all entwined together in one go. So, have you explored the wonderful world of Calvin and Hobbes?

This post was first published at the author’s blog

Picture from promotional material of the comic

An engineer by profession but a writer at heart, I try to seek happiness through

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Comments

1 Comment


  1. Deepa Damodaran -

    Loved Calvin and Hobbes, Peanut, Garfield. Thank you. Your write up is good.

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