The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...


Philosophy is often characterized as being the study of knowledge, existence and reality as an academic discipline. The term is also regarded as being a theory or attitude by which guides the way a person or an organization acts.

The origin of character.

Bill Watterson, the creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, has said that Calvin was in fact named after the 16th century theologian John Calvin and Hobbes’ namesake is the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

With such a pedigree it is little wonder that a number of the comic’s story lines center on questions involving existence.

Rather than take such vexing problems of existence and reality too seriously, Watterson allows Calvin and Hobbes to work against the philosophical weight of their decidedly more sober namesakes.

He lampoons the grand overarching, and over-aching, questions which plague Calvin (and the rest of us) while reminding that both the question and the questioner are not as grand and they take themselves to be.

Don’t get me (or Calvin; or Hobbes) wrong, theses deeper philosophical questions have value. They are worth asking, but there is no single way (or right way) to answer them.

Part of Calvin’s struggle is coming to the awareness that he is struggling to define his own self-concept. In him we see our own selves struggling against our own big questions.

These questions are not the same for everyone. Our only hope is to find some other half  that can “tolerate” us as we struggle to find meaning in life’s deeper questions. We need a “sidekick,” a husband, a wife, a friend to walk this tightrope with us.

Who can help stupid mortals like us?

We all need a Hobbes, an individual who joins us in our struggles yet offers the necessary loving kindness which helps our navigating through struggle rather than drowning alone in a cesspool of doubt.

Yes, often we can’t see beyond the tips of our own noses, and in those moments having a helper guide us past the blindspots refines and defines our own philosophical outlook. Which, in the long run hopefully offers us the self-knowledge to become “Hobbes” to someone else’s “Calvin”.


Part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

Updated: April 19, 2017 — 11:31 am


  1. Admittedly, I seldom spend time contemplating deeper meanings unless something that occurs near me or to me starts me down that path. Partnerships seem to work best when one is strong or gifted in the areas that the other is weak. I notice after many years together spouses will have assumed some of the qualities of the other. Oh, and I love the strips you chose.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    1. That is the way with most of us. We don’t consider “life” until it whacks us in the face. Everything is a balancing act and as such when the equilibrium is off that lack of balance really makes itself known.

  2. Thanks for sharing those comic strips. I hadn’t known where the names had come from, so that was interesting.

    Visiting from the A to Z Challenge. You can see my “P” post here:

    1. Yea, I had no idea either. I also found a blog out that there focuses on the theology of the comic strip. It is called Experimental Theology and I found it really interesting.

  3. I enjoyed reading your post about Calvin and Hobbes. I’ve never been much into reading cartoons, but Calvin and Hobbes is one of my husband’s favorites. This post was a great reminder of how fun and thoughtful those cartoons are. 🙂

    With Love,

    1. It is ridiculous how well the strip holds up 30+ years later. Thanks for dropping in.

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