Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dr. Seuss

As a fan of the written language, I am ashamed to not have posted something yesterday.  As exciting as children’s books are to me, I am almost embarrassed to not have mentioned Theodor Geisel’s birthday.  Almost.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”  How can you not celebrate the man who wrote that?  March 2, 1904 was the day Theodor Geisel was born.  We know him better as Dr. Seuss.  His books are so full of silliness and insight; they are all fun reads with a message.
The celebration of his life was the big reason I did not write anything.  I was too busy being silly with my kids.  We read Dr. Seuss books and made up silly rhymes of our own.  We even went to the bookstore and got new books to read, in honor of Read Across America, the program celebrated on his birthday.  And while I can’t write all the words in his 44 children’s books, I can tell you 10 of my favorite Seussisms, aside from the one above, that speak the most to me, and the books they are from:

1.   “It’s awfully awfully awful when you can’t make up your mind!” --Hunches in Bunches.  I am terrible with making up my mind.  My husband cannot stand it when we go to a drive-thru and I do not know what I want.  “Their menu hasn’t changed – pick something!”  This is a great book if you need a kick in the rear to get your sorry butt in gear. Ha! Ha!  I made a rhyme.

2.   “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”  --Oh, The Places You'll Go!  Wonderful message.  It is up to you what you do.  No one can make that decision but you.  Wow, I am on a roll!  The message is simple: You have the tools to succeed, use them.

3.   “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” --The Lorax.  It all starts with you.  Ghandi said Be the change you want to see in the world.  It is the same principle.  Whenever I feel like giving up on something because others do not care, I think of this.

4.   “This was no time for play. This no time for fun. This was no time for games. There was work to be done.” --The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.  There is a time and place for everything.  We all do things we do not want to do to be able to do the things we do want to do.  Like laundry so we can have clean underwear.

5.   "You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut."  --I Can Read With My Eyes Shut.  Duh.  Do not hide because things are unpleasant.  Keep going.  We all fall down, it is how many times we get up that shows our true character.

6.   "I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights." --Yertle the Turtle.  Child/Adult, Peon/Boss.  We are all people and have the same basic rights.  Like respect.  Treat others how you want to be treated.  Do not think you are better than anyone else, because you are not.  We all wipe our butts the same way.

7.   "Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France where the average young person just hasn’t a chance to escape from the perilous pants eating plants. But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy you ought to be shouting how lucky am I!"  --Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?  Moral of the story?  Someone always has it worse than you.  Life is a good percentage mental, you choose to be happy or not.  I am not saying that bad shit does not happen, it does.  It is all in how you deal with it.

8.   "If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”  -- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.   Try before you say you do not like something.  How do you know you do not like fried possum guts if you have never tried fried possum guts?  They may be delicious!

9.   “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." –Happy Birthday To You!  Why bother trying to be someone you are not?  It is best to be YOU because we are all unique.  If someone does not like you? Oh well, not worth your time. 

10.   And now I leave with the big finale.  Great advice for writing , speaking and just getting your point across: 

It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That's why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader's relief is.

And that's why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)

Happy reading!  Visit for more fun stuff!