• JWMS Newspaper Club

Life Lessons From Calvin & Hobbes by Nuala G.

Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson is a classic comic strip that appeared in newspapers from 1985-1995. Known for their simplicity, humor, and light-heartedness, the comics are about a troublemaking 6-year-old and his pet tiger. However, there is more to this comic strip than fun, planning adventures, and annoying the parents. Sprinkled over time, Calvin and Hobbes ponder big questions about life that make kids and adults stop and think. There are valuable lessons to be learned from this comic duo.


Sometimes All You Need's A Little Perspective

It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day life. Maybe you’re feeling great because you did well on a test or your team is winning. Or maybe your parents got you a new phone or you’re going on a sweet vacation this summer. Or maybe it’s the reverse, and school, life, or your friendships aren’t going too well right now. In this comic though, Calvin realizes that only focusing on the ups and downs of each day can keep you from paying attention to the bigger universe that counts more: who you want to be, the values that guide you, and the people you choose to spend your time with. It’s good to remember to be humble and recognize that the universe is pretty big and no matter how great or not today is, the universe will probably look a little different tomorrow.


It’s The Little Things That Matter Most

For Hobbes, a big sunny field is all he wants, but Calvin is thinking bigger: power and riches. In this comic strip, Bill Watterson demonstrates that Hobbes appreciates the simple things in life and that makes him happy. This is something I’ve had to think a lot about during this pandemic year. After this new coronavirus took over the world, I realized how many small but wonderful things that I took for granted could easily be taken away. For example, laughing and talking with friends in the lunchroom seemed like a given. But all of a sudden, we weren't allowed to attend school in person anymore. Even sitting with friends close enough to whisper a joke or give a hug became a problem. Everything counts, even if it’s a sunny field.


Keep Your Priorities Straight

Do what makes you happy. Calvin’s priority is going outside and getting dirty. For others, hanging out with friends is at the top of the list and for others it's sports. It is up to you to decide, but do what’s important to you. Prioritizing what you value doesn’t just simply make you happy, it also builds a healthy mindset.


Thank you, Bill Watterson, for not only entertaining us with the most deviously funny first-grader around but also for giving us thought-provoking commentary on life.


Although the comics ended 26 years ago, you can still read the whole series across the 18 books that have been published. Extra points if you read them in bed late at night with a flashlight after your parents told you to go to bed.

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