Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School

About a year and a half ago, I came across 3eanuts, a site that removes the fourth panel from Peanuts comic strips and reveals the depth of the Peanuts kids right before the punch line. As the tagline of the site states, “Charles Schulz's Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters' expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all.”
While we, as adults, generally consider children to be young and innocent, this site reminds us of the deep thoughts kids can have. And even if we don't quite understand how something so small can have such a large effect on a child, Schultz can remind us that it does.
I emailed myself the site so that one day down the road, I would be able to write about it. This weekend, the events in Sandy Hook Elementary School brought me back to this website.
20 children, along with six faculty members and one mother were killed on Friday. It is easy for us to count the numbers. It may be easy for us to remember that each one of these children have a family, and an entire community that knew and loved them. What often gets overlooked is that each and every one of these children had something to offer the world. To them, we were all just grownups talking like a trumpet while they went through their lives. They had profound thoughts that neither I nor you would ever think of. And now, the world will never know them.

The most humbling thing is that despite being only six and seven years old, they had just as much power to prevent this situation as adults did. Schulz reminds us just how hopeless the world can get. Perhaps Linus was right. Maybe the only way to go through life is to hold onto a nice, warm blanket.

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