Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Why Charlie Brown Was a Middle-Schooler at Heart

Why Charlie Brown Was a Middle-Schooler at Heart

Why Charlie Brown Was a Middle-Schooler at Heart

Some movie lines are worth repeating and writing about. I got curious and looked up the top 10 movie lines from a few opinionated bloggers. It was funny to see that Arnold Schwarzenegger holds the highest percentage followed by anyone playing James Bond. I liked reading the other, maybe less popular, lines.

“Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter.”
A Beautiful Mind (2001)

“My precious.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

“Sunnyside is a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries!”
Toy Story 3 (2010)

One that isn’t mentioned anywhere and one that deserves mentioning is shared in Charlie Brown Christmas. The boy whom I believe on all accounts is mid-semester of 7th grade.

Charlie Brown’s buddy, after hearing some of Charlie’s rant about the commercialization of Christmas and his ensuing depression, says:

“Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.”

This is it. This is how we can make the biggest impact in the world.

Someone recognized that Charlie was simply being himself. He wasn’t apologetic about his depression or struggle with the holiday season. He grappled with his questions publicly and eventually helped and inspired his friends along the way. Does Charlie have some obvious quirks that have last-nerve potential? Yep. But he didn’t cover them up and try to be something he wasn’t. He was just Charlie Browny. And that made the biggest difference.

I think most middle schoolers are themselves. Mostly. It’s when they start looking around for support and affirmation, people to laugh with, be annoyed with, lose their last nerve with and then feel like they’ve come up short with, not many who will be that for them, that they start wondering if alternative personalities would work better.

That’s why they (and us) need people in our lives who will define the relationship at the beginning.

Hey, _____ (middle school kid). You’re the most like-you person that we know, and I want to know more about you as I’m learning how to be me.

Hey, ______ (insert your name). You’re the most YOU thing that I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t want to not know you!

I want to be true of me.

I would love for people to be able to say, “Of all the Brooklyn Lindseys in the world, you’re the Brooklyn Lindseyiest.”

I would love for people to feel safe without all of the things that life promises will bring honesty, vulnerability, bravery, truth and joy. And feel better about having honesty, vulnerability, bravery, truth and joy because we are our truest selves.

If I be true and you be true—then there will be a lot more true in the world.

Let’s keep this movie line in mind as we head into another year. You’ll stand out because you’ll be the only you that people have ever known, and they’ll be amazed by who that person is and all that they have to give.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.

I hope we make you proud.

(And Thanks God. For making me who I am. For making my friends who they are. For giving us grace as we are all learning how to be more of that.)

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Brooklyn recently founded The Justice Movement, a church youth movement that helps teenagers help others. Her priority is to inspire and resource youth to break cycles of poverty through faith in action. An ordained pastor, Brooklyn has served in full time youth ministry for the last 16 years, authored numerous books, contributes and communicates for Orange Leaders, and speaks at camps and conferences. She, her husband Coy, and daughters Kirra and Mya live in Lakeland, FL where they like being outside, playing with their dog Marley. www.brooklynlindsey.com @brooklynlindsey/ www.justicemovement.com @thejustmove