Dr. Seuss?

I have a long distance friend who, for various reasons, is currently leading a rather stressful and sometimes confused life! I recently tried to put things into perspective in an email, and received the response that it read like a Dr Seuss book.

I have not read Dr. Seuss in many years and so decided to reacquaint myself with this master of strange rhyming words, wonderful rhythms, and generally very entertaining poetry… and it was not what I expected!

Of course my perspective has changed. My memories of Dr. Seuss were based on the content of children’s books which we had for Melanie and Simon such as “The Cat in the Hat”. I was rather surprised that when I googled Dr. Seuss, the most prominent quote that came up was this one:

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
The first line caught my attention because so many Posts are being written about “You”, and the context is usually in finding yourself, and how you fit into the world at large. How much time is spent pleasing others, some of which is at the expense of pleasing yourself. One fact that will never change is that you may well pretend to be somebody else but, deep down, you can only ever be you, and that fact should be recognized and celebrated.  Dr. Seuss confirmed that uniqueness in “There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”
His second line merely supports the often posted topic of choices that we all have, although sometimes we try not to acknowledge them as such. It is so easy to blame another person for an event that we should be taking responsibility for. i.e. “She made me so mad that I…….” Technically, she could not make me mad. She might do something that really affected me but, if I get mad over it, then it is my choice. I could just as easily just let the incident pass, or take some other action, but it is my choice (and ultimately my responsibility to accept the consequences of that choice). Dr. Seuss covers it very simply in “You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
His final line simply endorses further education, and isn’t that one of the benefits of blogging? We get to hear from people all over the world, many of whom will have totally different perspectives than us. Who would possibly argue that there are no benefits in furthering ones knowledge!
Dr. Seuss was not only a brilliant purveyor of attention getting poetry, but there are clearly many excellent life messages included. Of course many of you are probably shaking your heads and thinking “He has only just realized that?”  My response can only be:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know.”

13 thoughts on “Dr. Seuss?

  1. Often times things that were ‘designed’ for kids are really more for adults, cleverly disguised. Dr. Seuss and Rocky & Bullwinkle readily come to mind in that regard. We may not have ‘gotten’ it as kids, but probably can relate better once we’re adults. 😉

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  2. I did not know the whole piece, only the first line which I love a lot. That is a wonderful share. I never knew about Dr. Seuss in my childhood. I also don’t know if I had understood. But I am so stunned by the depth of his writings today! Thanks for sharing, Colin!

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  3. I have long been convinced that every children’s story has deep meaning. Very few are just for fun. Alice in Wonderland is a good one. We just clips of it in a business training (remember painting the roses red? Off with their heads? leadership!). The wonderful thing about Suess is that the messages are short and catchy. I am going to steer my shoes today!

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