If I were to say the name Theodor Seuss Geisel, would you know who I was talking about? What if I told you he wrote books? Still no? What if I told you he penned the line, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better, it’s not.” Does the rhyme bring back memories of colorful books, imagination playgrounds, and endless possibility? If it does, you’re on the right track. This is 10 things Dr. Seuss taught me.
1. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” -Horton Hears A Who!
This goes far beyond the size of our shoes, it instead speaks to who we are as people. No matter the color of your skin, the way you display your gender, who you love, we are all people, and that should be the most important thing. We all deserve respect.
2.“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!” -One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Sometimes you just have to laugh it off and look around, because the world is full of crazy, brilliant, wonderful things that please and cleanse the soul. Funny things are indeed everywhere. And after all, if we aren’t laughing at ourselves, we are only getting laughed at.
3.“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” -One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
This one is one of the hardest ones! This is my motivation to step out of my comfort zone. And to remind myself that everything doesn’t have to be serious. It certainly is easier that way, but at one point or another, you have to do things just because you want to.
4.“I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.” -Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
Don’t tell her I told you this, but I will forever remember one of my high school English teachers crying as she read this. In that moment, it hit me. Life never promised to be easy. And along the way, there are going to be things that hurt, and more often than not, it’ll be me playing myself.
5.“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.” -Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz
Most people think this one speaks for itself, but I see this sentence in a completely different way. It’s about perspective. Not seeing the world “as it is”, but believing that everyone is experiencing a world vastly different than mine. And to truly know someone, I must see the world through their lens. Are they seeing the same sights?
6.“If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day, You have to go places quite out of the way, You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have to get wet, too.” -If I Ran the Zoo
Often times, we pursue goals with unrealistic expectations of what will be required of us. We forget that to pursue uncommon goals, we must go places other do not usually go. We must hold ourselves to unusually high standards. And we must be willing to get a little wet in the process.
7.“The Lorax: Which way does a tree fall?
“The Once-ler: Uh, down?
“The Lorax: A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.” -The Lorax
Another one that I’m reminded of daily. Everything I say, do, write, and express has an impact on others. And that impact can be something I intended, or did not intend, but it’s still my responsibility. That’s the way I chose to lean. And a tree always falls the way it leans. This taught me to choose my words carefully.
8.“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” -I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
This one has taught me two things. The first, to keep reading! As simple as it sounds, reading when you’re older is something you have to set out to do. Something you have to plan and make time for. This helps remind me that it’s super important to stay well read. Secondly, life may move fast, and it may be scary, but I always have to keep my eyes open. I risk missing too much by holding them shut and hoping for the world to pass by.
9.“And I saw on this hill, since my eyesight's so keen, the two biggest fools that have ever been seen! And the fools that I saw were none other than you, who seem to have nothing else better to do than sit here and argue who's better than who!” -Bartholomew and the Oboleck
This one is more chastising than the rest, and it reminds me every day that unless it’s to encourage or uplift someone, or criticize them constructively, my words don’t have a place. There’s no reason to stand and point fingers or compare skills, as I look as much a fool as the person I’m trying to correct.
10.“Thank goodness for all the things you are not, thank goodness you're not something someone forgot, and left all alone in some punkerish place, like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space.” -Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
Finally, this last one by one of the most uplifting men to write, ever. It taught me to love the life I live and lead. To appreciate every moment, even the bad ones. Not because someone may have it worse off, but because I’m alive, and I’m here to appreciate all this world has to offer. I hope Dr. Seuss taught you some things too!