Calvin, the young boy who ponders over literally any stuff and his best friend, Hobbes the Tiger are the characters created by the genius cartoonist Bill Watterson. I believe that there is more essence in the cartoons than in the traditional movies. Some characters like “PO” from Kung Fu Panda and “Hiccup” from How to Train your Dragon have inspired us in many ways.
But “Calvin and Hobbes” is different. What makes it so exciting is that the characters are such a contradiction to each other. It’s like the salsa sauce of cartoons. Calvin emits such charisma and wisdom through a highly provoking vocabulary which is quite unusual for a six year old. His unusualness is personified, as he prefers to spend time with his imaginary best friend Hobbes with whom he has endless debates. Calvin doesn’t obey his parents, is lazy and refuses to go to school. He embarks on imaginary journeys with Hobbes and the conversations of which are are nothing but mind boggling.
Personally a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes, I have tried to in this post uphold the spirit of the Bill Watterson and his wonderful creations. So it is time now, for me to get creative.
Calvin: “You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.”
Hobbes: “What mood is that?”
Calvin: “Last-minute panic.”
Be it our career, monetary positions or relationships, we are in a state of denial. Calvin answers in one word but it packs a lot of meaning in it. Our lives are filled with denial for we fear to accept things. Human mind is a miracle that shows patterns of panic at the time of acceptance of a situation. In the wormhole of thoughts, the thought that does reach the far end is the thought of Denial.
In my earlier post “10 thoughts about the education system”, I had tried to emphasize the importance of creative education. Education system today is designed to manufacture machines required for industrial use and not embed people with creativity. What if one day Globalization fails? At that point all we would have studied is an utterly useless piece of information that you would one day forget. So, education should be focused on life improvement rather than excessive stress on career building. Education should give the confidence to a student that he can survive even if he doesn’t end up with a job in an MNC.
This has got to be the best of Calvin & Hobbes pieces. Every word that Calvin says has such gravity in it. So what do we do in real life situations, do we do the right thing and fail or do the wrong thing and succeed? There is no answer to it as people have their own versions of why they do what.
Does satisfaction come from undeserved success? Is failure ever well deserved? When we analyze these questions we come up with a conclusion that success is success no matter what and principles don’t matter. But the absurdity here is that we are always in the state of denial (Point No. 1). Success is all about rationalizing the consequences before-hand and work on plans to overcome it. Failure is a state of unwillingness to accept the consequence of not working hard enough. Success and Failure best explained by a cartoon than any management guru.
What is sense of humor according to you? According to Calvin it is a Physiological response to absurdity. He thinks that we appreciate absurdity. Sarcasm or Disdain are some things that make us laugh. So, are we mocking at evolution that we are programmed to laugh at absurdity? Senseless happenings are all around us. Only thing that should make sense in any happening is your thought process. Clarity of thought helps us block irrelevant and unwanted thoughts and makes sure we sustain. Our reactions are based on algorithms that the brain has devised. It is important to note here that our reaction to the most senseless things is laughter. Now, is it funny or scary?
Comparison is the thief of joy, a wise man once said. The problem with comparison is that it is unfair. Comparison gives rise to unhealthy expectation. Expectation, like comparison is the thief of happiness. Our expectations are a result of material implications. We fail to comprehend what the purpose is and end up concentrating on the logistics of attaining happiness seldom lost in transit.
In this particular conversation, there are too many things to absorb. Self-esteem is the sense of feeling good about ourselves in a community. For feeling good about ourselves, we need to be a hero in our own life first. Either you get satisfied by your current achievements or set yourself realistic goals that you with your unique epitome can achieve. Happiness lies in the small stuff too; not necessarily that millionaires are happy. Money is a factor yes, but it is just a mirage in the road to success.
Have you ever wondered why that you have so many thoughts in your head? Why have you not been able to jot it down or say it aloud? The answer comes from Calvin’s mind. Just so we could think again. I refer to Hobbes as Calvin’s mind because we all have a Hobbes within us that is advising us, controlling us and even taking care of us.
Words when said cannot be reverted. How many times have you typed a message to someone and erased it? How many times did you want to argue and let it go? How many instances do you remember where your silence mattered more than words? That is your Hobbes in action.
When all things go haywire, we use the one word hiding behind the shadows of denial. Destiny is that word. How often have you ever achieved something and said you didn’t deserve it? If you have said it, then you have grown enough to see yourself small. The revelations to mediocrity makes us believe that we are bound to accept what comes in our way. It makes us feel less responsible.
“Responsibility” is a next heaviest word in English after “Trust”. Nobody likes to be held responsible. A celebrity claims he isn’t responsible for a crime, the nation backs him. A corrupt political party claims no responsibility for under performance and it is still ruling a state in India. Who is responsible for repairing the pot holes in our road to development? Responsibility is to be taken up seriously. Responsibility and accountability has to be demanded for we are a democracy.
Sometime I wonder what could an ideal time for me to limit myself in a particular thought. But then, thinking if I have to limit my thoughts is a thought that is a result of overthinking. Hence, I was overthinking. Overthinking leads to meaningless patterns and confusions.
Two things that can be taken away from the above conversation, one being a pioneer and other being an opportunist. The first person who conceived the idea is the visionary. The person who carries that thought and propagates it in a way where the whole world can comprehend is a preacher. The preacher is a person who actually creates the ripples of change. The one that eyes an opportunity to earn from these ripples is an opportunist. Maybe that’s why they say, “Milk the opportunity”.
Let us imagine you had a horrible day at college/work and you meet some friends and go partying. A few weeks later, what would you remember? The blurriness of the party or the clearly horrible day that you had before you went partying? Both are history since it is day of the past, but we tend to remember only the good side.
History as we learned is a story created by patterns in the happening of certain events of the past. It is a structured line of events set to inspire the future as forecasted by our forefathers. Why didn’t we learn in our textbooks the lives of Jawaharlal Nehru or the Gandhi family? It is the blunder in the Indian history we do not want the generations to know as the society as a whole is afraid of being questioned.
History is always supposed to be inspiring. Hence the saying, “whatever happens is for the best”. We just end up showing the best part rather.
The biggest surprise in life is life itself. You don’t know if you would complete reading this article. If you did, then 100 Billion neural cells have performed their job successfully. What is the possibility of you not reading this article? You had to know by N number of means about TenFigures, you had to be impressed enough to subscribe, you had to have the mindset amongst all the daily battles to click on the link, you had to feel the need to know about Calvin and Hobbes, your internet connection be uninterrupted, your phone not ring while you are reading and many more miracles. What is the possibility that any instance in life be an accident or a co-incidence?
We fail to appreciate the larger plan of the universe and the miracles that happen around us. When we fail to realize the miracles that happen in us, the miracles that are happening to us, life seems like a tragedy. There are always special effects and dance numbers to make the life exciting, we just have to find ways to live it with grace.
By concluding this post, I would like to open your eyes to see the Hobbes in you. The best friend you always wanted, the answers you always seek, the emotions you always missed, all are within you. Your Hobbes guides you in a way which in unique only to you. Calvin is like our mind that runs without direction and Hobbes is the guiding light in the journey. Let us in our journey demand Euphoria and not settle for Happiness.