Did you have a favorite cartoon when you were younger? Do you still enjoy watching it now? I remember Penelope Pitstop fondly. I never missed her program on Saturday mornings. Penelope Pitstop was set in the 1920s and involved Penelope (a damsel in distress) and her chic sports car avoiding peril throughout the entire episode. Riveting adventure. As I write this, I’m realizing my favorite cartoon was vintage! A self discovery! I was a history buff even as a child.


It wasn’t until I was a little older that Penelope was replaced by Scooby Doo and after that, there was no other. My love for Scooby triumphed over all other cartoons. I’m sure the problem solving and logic threaded through each episode had something to do with it, but it is only now as an adult that I recognize the truer appeal of a slightly inarticulate dog, his buffoonish best friend Shaggy, and how the show held steadfast, meaningful life lessons beneath the simple mystery and monster chase.

1) Be an individual, but work as a team.
Consider the unique characters: Fred, the strong muscular type, Thelma the brainy level-headed problem solver and Daphne, creative, pretty and petite. Of course Shaggy represented a little of everyone, honest, messy, goofy and loyal all rolled up into a goatee wearing, poor postured, golden-hearted bestie. His sidekick Scooby was pure fun. Yet in the end they solved the problem life presented and worked together for a safe resolution.

2) Face your fears and overcome them.
The team did just that every episode, proving every time cruel hearted people are not worthy of kindness. Despite Shaggy and Scooby hightailing it in a comedic misadventure, in the end the monster was caught, the villain unveiled and carted away by the authorities. Scooby and his friends pushed through their fear of the situation to end in victory.

3) Ask questions.
As a teacher, this quality comes naturally to me, yet so many people fear raising their hand, asking a question, and appearing at a loss. Questions create strength. Great inventions, cultural masterpieces, and life-changing world events would never have occurred were it not for the individuals who asked questions. Inquiry improves intelligence. It reveals courage and determination to find the truth and solve the problem.

4) Never underestimate the power of a good snack.
Everyone needs a little caloric incentive now and then. Biscotti, almonds, watermelon…I’m a snacker and I’m proud. Shaggy and Scooby? Their snacks were ridiculously elaborate and enjoyed with relish. Who could resist Scooby as he rewarded his mystery solving hard work by eating a huge sandwich with a side portion of a huge sandwich?

Is it silly to look for logic inside a child’s cartoon? Perhaps. But I’m sure the programs you once adored helped define you as the person you are today. Were you a Scooby fan too? Which character depicts your personality best?