Some may know him as an environmentalist. Others relate to him as an activist. While both are true, almost every American childhood memory can be traced back to reading at least one of his rhyming children’s books.
Theodor Seuss Gisel, known more commonly by his pen name Dr. Seuss, was more than just a children’s book author. He conveyed a message behind each story and pushed widely-discussed and sometimes controversial topics.
“Yes, I read mostly all of Dr. Seuss’ books growing up,” said junior theater major Ryanne Cleggett. “He really inspired me throughout my childhood to never lose my creative streak even in adulthood where you’re forced to think more logically and structured about the world.”
Throughout the years, Dr. Seuss has taught many of us lessons that we never knew we’d still be using today. From talking about the environment and how we each play a part in helping it grow to learning to be proud of who you are, Dr. Seuss has inspired not just millions of children across the nation but adults as well. To celebrate his amazing legacy, here’s a list of the five things we’ve learned from him.
1. “A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small”
This lesson was the central theme found in Seuss’ popular book “Horton Hears A Who.” Although the book sparked a lot of controversy about whether or not it was really an anti-abortion theme instead of being about saving the environment, it evoked a lot of important things to think about.
The book taught us that every life matters, including the planet. Instead of destroying animals’ homes and food sources by cutting down woods and trees, we should make larger strides to use renewable resources and be conscious that we aren’t the only ones here.
2. “Unless Someone like You Cares a Whole Awful Lot, Nothing is Going to Get Better. It’s Not.”
This amazingly simple yet deep quote can be found in Seuss’ book “The Lorax.” This book was heavily drenched in activism and conveyed the message that when we remain silent, nothing will change. We learned that other people may not care about what we care about, but when we speak up and give them reasons why they should, that’s where the real change can happen.
3. “Imagination is Important Too”
Seuss was very creative and it showed in his writings so strongly that they have withstood the test of time, being passed down from generation to generation. There’s nothing wrong with being a doctor, a scientist or mathematician as those are vital careers to society. But Seuss also helped us learn that we need artists, authors and musicians as well. If we have more of one than the other, the world is imbalanced.
4. “Only You Can Control Your Future”
We may hear this a lot but how many of us really believe it? Dr. Seuss had many themes and messages that he conveyed in his books but this quote was prevalent in almost all of his children’s literature.
Many of Seuss’ characters often found themselves in a big mess that seemed impossible to fix at first, but then always ended up deciding to take control of the situation. I guess they somehow knew that they couldn’t control the waters of life but they could control the direction they sailed the boat.
5. “You’ll Miss the Best Things if You Keep Your Eyes Shut”
This quote can be found in Seuss’ book, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut.” Seuss taught us that we will all be afraid to take chances and risks but the longer we remain fearful, the more time passes us by and because of it, regret will inevitably be the result.
Deciding to just take life by the horns and give it all you have will help you see life in all its beauty. Sky divers and rock climbers will agree that we should all make an effort in life to change perspective which help to make us appreciate the beauty of it all.