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I was planning to continue the topic of acceptance this week, but a little voice inside seemed to be saying, “Say it isn’t so…” so I decided on Calvin and Hobbes instead. A lighthearted departure from the more serious topics of the ACTS Journal is a good thing every now and then.

Google led me to a list of “Calvinisms” originally posted on a blog as nothing more than filler for the author while he “crafted something deeply insightful about the world of literature.” Then 25,000 ‘likes’ later on Facebook, Edd McCracken realized that “standing on the shoulders of giants, or…a six-year-old boy and his imaginary tiger, [was] a much better way to get heard.” And with due credit given to Calvin’s creator, McCracken called the comic strip “as good as any literature“ he could choose to write about, adding his hope that Bill Watterson knew how loved his creations were.

Here’s how McCracken put it, followed by selected quotes from his original list:

In my more giddy moments, I think a simple comic strip about a preternaturally bright six year-old and his imaginary tiger friend features some of the most lucid sentences committed to print. And when I sober up, I usually think exactly the same. 

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes ran between 1985 and 1995, and managed to infuse wondering (and wandering) on a cosmic scale into an ageless world of lazy Sunday afternoons, snow goons, and harassed babysitters. I’m not saying that you should take moral and philosophical guidance from the inventor of Calvinball (a game that runs on chaos theory), but you could do much worse.

Here, in no particular order, is a selection of quotes that nail everything from the meaning of life to special underwear. Enjoy.

On life’s constant little limitations

You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.

On expectations

Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!

On why we are scared of the dark

I think night time is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction.

{On improv and choreo-}*

They say the world is a stage. But obviously the play is unrehearsed and everybody is ad-libbing his lines….We need more special effects and dance numbers.

On the secret of immortality

God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.

{On the effects of unreality TV}

Why isn’t my life like a situation comedy? Why don’t I have a bunch of friends with nothing better to do but drop by and instigate wacky adventures? Why aren’t my conversations peppered with spontaneous witticisms? Why don’t my friends demonstrate heartfelt concern for my well-being when I have problems? … I gotta get my life some writers.

On the truth

It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!

On the truth, again

Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend.


And there you have it, folks. A little glimpse of life through the eyes of an adorable little boy whose best friend makes exploring the world a lot less scary, way more fun, and even magical…according to Calvin.


* {Curly brackets denote my own headings…}