Amusingly enough, we can learn much from even the most unlikely places. Sometimes we can learn life lessons about love and friendship from a child’s story like Winnie The Pooh or in this case, from a comic strip about a boy and his best friend, his “living” stuffed animal Tiger, Hobbes, in Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson. The best friends share a strong bond with each other as they explore new things and seek adventure. But even in the comic’s novel presentation, it not only reminds us of the good things of childhood – exploration brought forth by curiosity and imagination – but also occasionally sees the pair pause long enough to ponder the deeper things of life and offer its readers a bit of wholesome and thought-provoking wisdom brought about only the way the innocence of a child can.
In the above gif, Calvin states that, “If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they would live a lot differently.” For most of us, we rarely get to see but the brightest starts at night due to the city lights drowning out their glory. The natural has been replaced by the artificial, and not just in this instance, but in most of our every day lives. Our senses are overloaded with TV, radio, technology, etc. and while they do serve a crucial purpose in this day and age, they also distract us and seem to keep us in a technological “sugar overload” year round. It’s as if our senses never get a chance to take a breathe and reset.
Compare a person who lives in the city and one who take the time to go camping or hiking. I would wager more often than not, the the latter is a calmer individual with clearer perspectives of life. I find this to be particularly true in major metropolitan areas where most people are caught in a rat race or in an superficial attempt to keep up with the Jones’s or giving in to false notions of what they think they need or want due to 24/7 advertising constantly telling us our needs and desires.
All this sensory overload causes us to forget to stop to reflect. To pause to think. And to get lost in our thoughts to reset our mind, body, and souls. Perhaps this is one reason why city people tend to be more rude, self-centered, in a hurry, depressed, and indifferent to others compared to our country counterparts. While the city can offer it’s own sense of beauty, it in no way can compare to what nature offers.
Consider yourself, would you be any different if you sat outside in a quiet spot and looked up at the stars, taking the beauty and serenity in? If you already do so, do you feel any different before and after? I know I do . There’s something to say about seeing God’s glory displayed in the heavens. Seeing the river of heaven, also known as the Milky Way, in all its glory. Seeing Orion and his companion Canis Major in the winter. Seeing Sagittarius, Hercules, and Andromeda in the Summer. The Big Dipper and Leo the Lion in late Spring. The beauty of it is that our ancestors saw these same stars and constellations. And I imagine that it brought them peace just as they can bring us peace if we would take the time to look up and be amazed by what they have to offer: God’s wonderful work.
Take Calvin’s advice. Stop for a minute to look up and reflect. To pause and think. And get lost in your thoughts and just unwind.
You won’t regret it.