In the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown frantically asks if anybody knows the true meaning of Christmas. The eternally sweet Linus, with his security blanket in tow, walks to center-stage of the school auditorium, drops his security blanket and confidently recites the Biblical account of the true meaning of Christmas.
I do not believe that Linus’ dropping of his security blanket is accidental. I believe that it is symbolic of how we don’t need comfort objects/behaviors, like a security blanket or a nervously fidgeting, when we are talking about what we truly believe, whether it is a spiritual/religious story, an ethical or moral stance, a political opinion or social preference. When we are truly authentic in presenting our beliefs, there is no malice, no shaming, no judging, no passive-aggression, etc. Instead, there is a clear genuineness, an authenticity that is disarming instead of alarming.
Sometimes, that security blanket takes the form of judging people for their different beliefs and opinions. When we are truly confident in our beliefs, we don’t quarrel . . . so nobody quarrels with us. This is a reference to Chapter 22 of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu:
Yield and overcome;
Bend and be straight;
Empty and be full;
Wear out and be new;
Have little and gain;
Have much and be confused.
Therefore wise men embrace the one
And set an example to all.
Not putting on a display,
They shine forth.
Not justifying themselves,
They are distinguished.
They receive recognition.
They never falter.
They do not quarrel,
So no one quarrels with them.
Therefore the ancients say, ‘Yield and overcome.’
Is that an empty saying?
Be really whole,
And all things will come to you.
(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)
It’s a special time of year for many people, and a difficult time for many as well; Let’s not quarrel. Let’s not boast. Yield and overcome. That’s Linus. I find it interesting that he even has that security blanket.
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Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan is a Gottman-trained Couples Counselor, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.