“… having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another.”
– Bill Watterson (Cartoonist and creator of Calvin and Hobbes)
My friend Nehama made my day by sharing this picture on my Facebook timeline yesterday. It resonated with me on so many levels (especially the ‘stay at home dad’ part) and I loved it so much I had to share it with you.
Before you move on to enjoy the images and words, let me make it clear that they are not being shared in a way as to say ‘this is what everyone should do’. Those who know me and this blog will know better than that. It is shared in the spirit that says ‘ whatever floats your boat baby’ and to also help some understand why it is that a person might decide to do something completely different with their lives and why that is not such a bad thing.
The genius behind this creation is Gavin Aung Than of Zenpencils.com. Gavin is an artist and illustrator and cites Bill Watterson (the Creator of Calvin and Hobbes) as one of his greatest influences. He therefore (fittingly) used these wise words from a graduation speech given my Mr. Watterson at Kenyon College (Ohio) in 1990. You can learn more about Gavin by visiting his awesome website Zenpencils.com. Gavin’s commentary on the creation of this cartoon and why he was so inspired by Bill Watterson is available via this link: http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/
In case you liked it as much as I did, here’s the relevant part of the speech as used above:
“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”
You can access the full text to the speech here: Bill Watterson Kenyon College Graduation Speech (complete version)
Copyright for this cartoon (Gavin Aung Than) and text (Bill Watterson). You can access the original version by following this link: http://imgur.com/9lzZGLN