Good Stuff

 

School was all but impossible for Sparky. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics, Latin, algebra and English in high school. He didn’t do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the year. There was a consolation match and he lost that, too.

Throughout his youth, Sparky was awkward socially. He was not actually disliked by the other students; he wasn’t considered consequential enough for that! He was astonished if a classmate ever said “hello” to him outside school hours. He never found out how he would have fared as a “date.” In high school, Sparky never once asked a girl out. He was too afraid of being rejected. 

Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates, and everyone else knew it, so Sparky simply accepted it. But one thing was important to Sparky: drawing. He was proud of his own artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it. In his senior year in high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of his yearbook. They were turned down. Despite this particularly painful rejection, Sparky had found his passion.

Upon graduating from high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios. He was told to send some samples of his artwork, and the subject matter for a cartoon was suggested. Sparky drew the proposed cartoon. He spent a great deal of time on it and on the other drawings. Finally the reply from the Disney Studios came. He had been rejected once again. Another loss for the loser.

Sparky wrote his own autobiography in cartoons. He described his childhood self, a little-boy loser and chronic under achiever. He was the little cartoon boy whose kite would never fly, who never succeeded in kicking the football, and who became the most famous cartoon character of all, Charlie Brown!

Sparky, the boy who failed every subject in the eighth grade and whose work was rejected again and again, was Charles Schulz.

Charles Schulz persevered. He succeeded beyond his wildest imagination. He earned and deserved that success. He had failed at everything else he had tried. He endured rejection. It took a lot of trial and error to finally find out what it was that he was supposed to do. But he never quit. Because Charles Schulz persevered, the world is richer.

 

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