There was a man by the name of Charles Schultz who created a comic strip named “The Peanuts,” back in October of 1950. Over the years, we have been a part of the Peanuts evolution. As children, we watched all of the “Peanuts” cartoons especially during the holidays. Some of the main characters were Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Violet, Schroeder, Sally, Franklin, Snoopy, Woodstock, and then there was Pigpen.
The character I want to highlight is Pigpen. “Pig Pen” first appeared on July 13, 1954. In his first appearance, he tells Patty, “I haven’t got a name . . . People just call me things . . . Real insulting things.” He says he is usually called “Pig-Pen”. No real name for “Pig-Pen” was ever subsequently given in later Peanuts strips. Being constantly dirty was a trait that “Pig-Pen” was best known for. When he takes a deep breath (to sing, for example), the dust rises briefly around him. He sometimes refers to the cloud that surrounds him with pride as the dust of ancient civilizations. He cannot seem to rid himself of the dust for more than the briefest of periods. In spite of his best efforts, it appears that he cannot stay clean. He can get dirty even by walking in a rainstorm. In the strip from July 23, 1955, he cleans himself up for a party, but the other Peanuts characters do not let him in because they do not recognize him.
What I like about Pigpen is, he HAPPILY traveled within his own private dust storm. Pigpen is COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE in his own (dust-streaked) skin. Despite his outward appearance, he always carries himself with DIGNITY, knowing full well that he has affixed to him the “dust of countless ages.” Everywhere he goes they can recognize him by his dust. In “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, “Pig-Pen” disguises himself as a ghost, but his true identity is easily revealed because of the trail of dust that follows him. He still enjoys the holiday festivities.
Patty and Violet always mock and insult “Pig-Pen” for being messy. Violet attempts to shame “Pig-Pen” by making him look in a mirror. She asks him, “Aren’t you ashamed?” to which “Pig-Pen” replies, “ON THE CONTRARY, I DIDN’T THINK I LOOKED THIS GOOD.” Unlike most of the other characters, Peppermint Patty does not mind “Pig-Pen’s” dirtiness, and SHE EVEN FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIM.
Regardless of what they say about him, he CONTINUES TO BE a happy, loving, and peaceful. He is loyal friend, a great bass player, drummer, and owner of a flea circus. He is also a great dancer.
We can learn a lot from Pigpen. Here’s what I think:
1. PIGPEN LOVED PIGPEN!! You better learn to love YOU some YOU!! I MAY NOT BE PERFECT but I still love me. If you don’t LOVE YOU, NOBODY WILL. I thoroughly enjoyed when Violet tried to SHAME HIM with the mirror. She was trying to get him to see what they saw. When he looked in the mirror, He said, “I didn’t know I looked that good?” I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!!
2. STOP TRYING TO BE A PEOPLE PLEASER. when he attempted to change, they didn’t even recognize him.
3. BEING PIGPEN CAUGHT PEPPERMINT PATTY. When you are completely confident and comfortable with who you are, LOVE WILL FIND YOU!! Everyone doesn’t need to RECOGNIZE your OUTSTANDING attributes, just the RIGHT people!!!
4. DO YOU!! I repeat, Regardless of what they said about him, he CONTINUES TO BE a happy, loving, and peaceful. He is loyal friend, a great bass player, drummer, and owner of a flea circus.
5. PIGPEN IS A GREAT DANCER. He has learned how to dance BY HIMSELF. It is IMPERATIVE that you learn how to BE AT PEACE with yourself!!
May God FREE you and BLESS you!!