Dr. Seuss Kept it Simple For A Reason
More than a couple of generations of children cut their literary teeth on the works of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. I’m no exception. I couldn’t have been older than three when my mom introduced me to Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat”.
Dr. Seuss had a unique way of not only engaging the young reader, but imparting moral lessons in an easy, undemanding way. Yet he cut to the heart of our world’s most basic and far-reaching issues in a timeless manner which is still relevant today.
So Many of Our Society’s Ills Could Be Cured By Following the Lessons in “The Lorax”
One of mine and my daughters’ favorite Dr. Seuss stories is “The Lorax”. In fact, my eldest has a Truffula tree and a series of Seuss-isms tattooed on her leg. I recently caught the last few moments of the movie, and as the credits started to roll, this timeless quote from the book filled the screen for a few seconds:
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
As I sat staring at the screen, a shiver ran up my spine. How like Dr. Seuss to put what should be obvious to an adult into a simple phrase even a young child could understand. And how farsighted of him to realize how much the generations who’d grown up with his stories would need to be reminded.
Many of his stories have been made into movies, or re-enacted on stages. Who hasn’t seen “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, or “The Lorax” at least once? I admit I’ve yet to see the movie version of “Cat in the Hat”, but it’s on my ever-increasing To-Do list. But first, I have to re-read “The Lorax”.
A Lesson in the Repercussions of Greed and Environmental Insensitivity
If you’re unfamiliar, let me briefly summarize. In a town de-void of nature (flowers, trees, grass, etc.) a young boy goes in search of the truth. He learns a greedy, conscienceless man used up all the Truffula trees and fouled the environment to satisfy his own personal agenda. He disregarded the admonitions of the Lorax who spoke for the trees, until he’d hacked down all the trees, fouled air and water, and driven all of the wildlife away in search of greener pastures. Without a steady supply of Truffula trees, even his business died out and left him living alone in the decaying remnants of his factory and home. The neighboring town with its plastic “nature” was dependent on another greedy man for the very air they breathed.
Sound familiar? But then, Theodor Geisel was also known for his political cartoons. Small wonder they seeped into his children’s stories. Perhaps he hoped he could instill social and environmental conscience in our formative years. I like to think he was successful, at least with a few.
Though Millennials as a group are getting a bad rap from the Baby Boomers (and vice versa, I might add), they are, like every other generation, a group of individuals, each with their own perspective on the world and idea of where they themselves need to take responsibility. Despite the seeming oblivion and obsession with electronics attributed to their peers, many are working hard to make a difference. They are perhaps even more socially and environmentally conscious than we were in the 60’s and 70’s. I attribute part of that to their ready access to information courtesy of the internet.
Lessons In Social Consciousness From Early Childhood Make For Better Adults
I wonder if part of that consciousness comes from early exposure to the lessons embedded in Dr. Seuss’s books?
Quotes from one book or another pop up on Social Media too frequently to be mere happenstance. They’ve become as much a part of our vocabulary as the Instant Messaging and Text-driven shorthand we use today. Every single quote encourages us to be better people, or to appreciate our differences rather than trying to be carbon copies of each other. I’m sure I’m not alone in turning to the good Doctor when my spirits need lifting or my confidence is waning. Here are a few which are guaranteed to lift me up and get me moving.
Dr. Seuss had a unique way of reminding us each and every one of us is special and has a reason for being right here, right now. He didn’t believe in hanging back or fitting in or hiding your light under a bushel basket. Instead, he taught us to be our very best selves, and to respect others, nature, animals, and this planet we call home.
If you ask me, we could all benefit from re-reading some of his books a couple of times a year to remind us, not to be humble and silent, but proud, strong, and outspoken. But most of all, to be kind.
One Small Pebble Causes A Thousand Ripples
What we do and say has impact. It might not seem like it in our own small view of the world, but every pebble we drop in the water creates ripples. We don’t see where those ripples go, who they touch, or what they affect. Most of us would be surprised our tiniest actions have any impact at all, much less the snowball effect each one is capable of.
In the past month or so, an individual not only stopped speaking to me, but began acting like I wasn’t even there. Ordinarily, I might be hurt about it, but I know in some way, my own actions or words sparked his behavior. He feels justified in denying my existence, and I truly have no reason to disrespect his wishes. Though the venue where we used to interact isn’t all that large, we manage to stay out of each others’ way, interacting with the same people and both enjoying our time there.
I share this story because it’s a clear example how something we do or say, seemingly in a safe little bubble has implications we can’t possibly predict. I suspect I’ll never know what my word or action was, but it has reminded me to be more aware of the ripples I create, and to revisit #28:
Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.
Gratitude is Always in Style
I think one of the many things I learned from Dr. Seuss was to appreciate what is all around me. My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn from Theodor Suess Geisel.
- I am grateful for the many times life reminds me to go back to the basics.
- I am grateful for a strong personality and the ability to be comfortable being different.
- I am grateful for like-minded friends who have eschewed society’s expectations of same-ness for delightful, inspiring, and unique one-ness.
- I am grateful for abundance; friendship, lessons, inspiration, joy, respect, acceptance, forgiveness, motivation, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content that helps entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author