Today is a great day to talk about inspiration! Why is that you may ask? Because every day is a great day to be inspired! That, and I would like to talk about the impact that a writer/ illustrator had on my life.
Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel
And that is the last time I am going to refer to him in his birth name, because to me he is a magic creature, he is humour and he is wisdom, to me he is only he is Dr Suess.
I cannot even express in words the impact this writer has had on my whole life, but its UHLOT!
So here are 5 lessons I learned from Dr Seuss
1. Look after the planet – The Lorax
I think this book is Vital for every human on the planet, it teaches us that its not just us that will suffer, but that we have a responsibility to keep the planet safe and healthy for ALL beings.
It teaches us that in the end corporate greed and money and THINGS aren’t worth the sacrifice, and that we are quite easily dazzled and sucked into the sense of ‘need’ for the latest greatest gadget that isn’t anymore necessary than the last thing we used to clog up land fill!
the bit that really gets me every time, is the section;
This Changed my sense of accountability for the future of the world, it made me think, as a kid, as an adult. “If I don’t bother, then who will?”
Rather than “well I’m just one person”
Dr Seuss was just one person too. And look at how he used his sense of Duty and creativity to touch all of our hearts!
And just as a side note, this is my favourite book of ALL TIIIIME! Yeah I know I’m an adult, and I don’t even care!
2. Accept other peoples boundaries – fox in socks
While Fox in socks is just a lot of fun to read, seriously I never get tired of this tongue twizzler! Besides which, that Goo Goose makes me want to chew that Goo too!
But I think that there is a really strong message in this story that can easily be missed in all that CUH-RAY-ZEE FUN is that we need to respect peoples boundaries.
As much as I love the cute little fox, he does push it, I mean he doesn’t even respect his Physical space!
Like how many times does the Knox have to tell him to leave him alone before he completely loses his shiz?
And might I add, that Mr Knox did an excellent job of asserting himself, I mean that fox really just wouldn’t take no for an answer, and we all know that No means NO! there is no negotiating personal boundaries. And that’s something I learned from this story… even if respecting my own personal boundaries didn’t happen until my 30s… but I got there and that’s what’s important.
3. Try new things – green eggs and ham
Then on the flipside we have Sam – I – Am, who really wont give up on… wait, is that Mr Knox again?!
Poor guy he really attracts the zero boundaries guys doesn’t he?
Howeveeeeerrr, while I don’t agree with Sam – I – Am, harassing the BEJEEZUUSS out of poor old Knoxy boi, he did have a good point. Try. New. Things!
This message was one that I apparently missed entirely growing up, it took a huge row with my aunt and 10 year old moi!
Basically she wanted me to try Japanese food and I FREAKED THE FUDGE OUT! I sulked I refused to eat it, I ate it and Desperately tried to hide the fact that I loved it. Then I asked for Japanese food every single time I saw her. She got sick of it.
Sometimes new things are the best things. Kids, try new things, Seriously
4. Don’t be a racist or a bigot or an elitist … or a Jerk – the Sneetches
If you haven’t read the Sneetches, you should. I don’t think this was one of the most popular Dr Seuss books, but it should have been, right there, underneath the Lorax.
Basically there are sneetches, some have stars on their bellies some have no star. This story could be touching on either racism or other types of exclusivity depending on how you look at it, but I like to think its making a point about both facts.
It touches on segregation of one type of sneetch live a privileged life of Frankfurter roasts and marshmallow toasts… the others arent allowed to enjoy the same and are left in the dark.
Well eventually a guy named Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes along, essentially offers them Tattoos/Tattoo removal treatments over and over again until everyone runs out of money and are left confused and mixed up and realise they ahve all been stupid and dont care about thier differnces anymore.
It’s a pretty watered down version of real life. But hey, these ARE Kids stories after all. And you know, for child Me, that message was loud and clear. I think all children should have to know the sneetches story by heart.
5. Don’t judge people by how they look – What was I scared of?
This is a short story at the end of the sneetches book, it’s about a small Bear out in the middle of no where at night, alone… He sees a pair of Trousers that can walk around on their own and immediately freaks out, and some would say for good reason.
But if you keep reading you eventually find that the pants are friendly and are hurt by the Bears ( AHEM understandable) reaction. They become friends and the Bear realises that he has made a judgement on someone solely based on how they look.
I’m not gonna lie, if I saw a pair of Trousers wandering around with no one working them, I would probably soil my own. But of course that’s not what the story is actually about. I really think it’s a reflection on how we can make a call on someone’s personality based on how they look be it their race, clothing style, Religion etc.
but before I head off,
I know there is an obvious book that I am missing here.
Oh, the places you’ll go!
I really think that one gets enough press, it’s clearly one of the best books to reinforce the message of “work hard and believe in yourself” that exists. But I didn’t actually read this book until I was 20 and my son received it for his 1st birthday from my Grandma.
Unfortunately, Dr Seuss didn’t instil that little gem on me, Kiss did with ‘God gave rock and roll to you’.
…You’re welcome for having that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day !
As always, thanks for reading! I hope you had fun with this little article. And obviously this is my personal take away from Dr Suess stories.
I would love to hear what lessons the old man gave you too!