Charles M. Schulz, famous for being the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, once remarked about his profession:
” If I were a better artist, I’d be a painter, and if I were a better writer, I’d write books- but I’m not, so I draw cartoons.”
The key element of his skills description is his lack of proficiency in writing. He may have not been good at writing, but he was still able to express very powerful messages. He did this by taking on the view of children, who have ideas like he did, but are not able to organize them into eloquent writing,and instead were more abstract in their mindset. He used his persona as a child to justify expressing his ideas in abstract and unclear ways.
This being his “cartooning” style, it was natural for him to defend the idea that this abstractness in children was actually genius.
And so he believed in the importance of protecting child philosophy, a tendency for natural curiosity to lead children into asking themselves very profound and important philosophical questions. These questions come at a time when child’s brain is not developed enough to gather ideas into a fluent and clear essay, yet waiting old enough to express these ideas in a way in which others can listen is futile; and in one of his comics, Schulz very simply explains why.
First it must be made clear why exactly it should be thought that children are in fact genius. Derek, a Science Youtuber with a channel called “Veritasium”, explains why many famous pioneers in every area of science are relatively young. He suggests that information learned in school may actually hinder a child’s creativity and ability to think outside the box and explore new scientific possibilities.This makes perfect sense, seeing that many new discoveries may be different than what have been thought previously. To have learned what had been originally taught may have stopped people like Dalton or Newton from considering other possibilities. They could have considered the issue already taken care of, and prevented much of the knowledge we have today from ever being revealed. Children are just naturally able to use their creativity to think about things and have ideas that are unique and adults could never think about.
In this comic, Charlie Brown is seen asking himself these big questions, yet his mind is being cluttered by pretty much useless things that school has taught him. It prevents his other voice from making clear to him any possible answers, and so Charlie will be forced to go through life with confusion and no sense of direction in life.
That is why by the time the mind is able to express answers to big questions somewhat clearly, there is too much in the way to be able to think about the answers.
And not only that, many experiences make children think that things like hate and fighting are a reality, woven into society and not to be changed. That belief is a barrier for children, preventing them from exploring ways to speak out against hatred and imagine a world of peace.
And why is it so easy for experiences of hate and difference and useless information to replace outside and unique thinking? Because it is much easier to accept a reality of “I before E, except after C” than to think deeply about a question that seems without reason or importance.
Maybe education should be more tolerant of a child’s individual mindset and help them to answer these questions that might be subconsciously challenging them. Maybe it is a bad idea to drill useless information into a child’s mind and instead let them learn these things in a more natural environment. So instead of reciting the rule over and over in a classroom to clutter a child’s memory, maybe it should be that children are given something to write, and then told the rule if they make a mistake.It makes it easier for the child to remember and it only forces them to learn it if they need it. It makes education natural and not forced.
And a child should be given time.
To think and catch up and reflect on their life. They will, if you give them enough time to go through all their wasteful thoughts and then meet face to face with the things that really matter. Time will allow them to fully process everything and have a sense of direction in their life, and maybe be able to benefit all of society with the things that they discover.