Life lessons, as I’ve interpreted from Dr. Seuss

I have been reading Dr. Seuss to my daughter since long before she understood a word I was saying. When I taught pre-school, Dr. Seuss took up a fairly decent portion of my classroom’s library. I read Dr. Seuss in college for my education courses. I read Dr. Seuss in high school because, well, I loved Dr. Seuss. And course, I read countless Dr. Seuss books as a child. I have learned that Theodore Geisel was not just writing for children. As adults, we could all benefit from the lessons in his books. Here are some of my favorites.

“I’m sorry to say so, but sadly it’s true that Bang-Ups and Hang-Ups can happen to you.” ~Oh the Places You’ll Go

“It could never happen to me,” is something I hear all too often. When those bang-ups and hang-ups do happen, we’re caught off guard and frequently end up feeling sorry for ourselves. It’s important to remember that these things happen to everyone, and we will move on.

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” ~One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Every day I can find at least one thing to make me laugh, and typically I find several. Keep your eyes open to the world around you and laugh and enjoy!

 “A person’s a person no matter how small.” ~Horton Hears a Who

We often forget how important one voice can be. We think, “Eh, I’m just one person. What could I do?” But Horton teaches us that each single one us matters. Each of our voices is important. So, let your voices be heard!

“You do not like them, so you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.” ~Green Eggs and Ham

Too often we shrug off new experiences because we don’t think we’ll like them. I don’t know about you, but some of the best experiences in my life were ones that I never wanted to begin with, but finally broke down and tried.

“They say I’m old fashioned and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!” ~The Lorax

I think about this every time I hear about the newest, bestest thing out on the market. I wonder where we are headed and what wonderful things we are destroying or leaving behind.

“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” ~The Cat in the Hat

No matter the weather (both literal and figurative), there is almost always a way to turn it into a good time!

“I am NOT going to get up today!” ~I Am Not Going to Get Up Today

Ok, so the title says it all! Come on . . . haven’t we all had days that we just wanted to ignore the world outside, pull the covers over our heads, and just stay in bed all day? Yes, I think so!

“The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.” ~The Sneetches

We could all learn a lesson from the Sneetches. Persons are persons and no kind of person is the best on the earthson. (Yeah, I know that sucked, but you get the point! . . . . I need some lessons in making up Seussian words.)

“All alone, whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot.” ~Oh the Places You’ll Go

I inherited my mother’s gift of gab. The only thing I didn’t get was her joy of the telephone . . . but I’ve counteracted that with instant messaging and texting. My mom hated being alone . . . and so do I (which is odd considering I have social anxiety problems . . . it’s quite a dilemma). But Dr. Seuss was right. I’m alone quite a bit. I’ve learned (mostly) to enjoy being alone . . . I catch up on my reading, watch a TV show that I know my boyfriend would never watch with me, write poetry, and listen to music. I’m trying anyway 🙂

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

Oh, I could go on and on with this one! We talk so much about early literacy and the importance of teaching children to love books. Many of us need to take that advice for ourselves. It disturbs me how many adults I talk to that just don’t read. Whether you are 13, 30, or 85 there is always something new you can learn by reading a book!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~The Lorax

The Lorax has been one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books since I first remember reading it in 2nd grade. This line is so poignant. We all have a responsibility to get involved, to care, and to make the world a better place.

Now I know that there are so many more awesome quotes from awesome Dr. Seuss books. These are just my absolute favorites. I’d love to hear more from other Dr. Seuss fans out there! (But tell me why you love it, what lesson you think it teaches!)


12 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t have a favorite quote but I’ll share a personal story. I’ve known my husband since…oh kindergarten or so. He shot up like a weed…6 foot 2 by the time he was twelve. He was big. He was handsome. He was smart. He knew how to fight and was considered a bad*ss. Know what he carried throughout high school in the inside pocket of his black leather biker jacket? “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are.” Dr. Seuss is always appropriate, always informative, always helpful. No matter how old, big, smart, or cute you are!


  2. Posted by poolman on April 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I love Dr Seuss! I even remember many of those books growing up. I apparently have not explored all his works. One Fish, Two Fish and Green Eggs and Ham stand out. I guess I will have to go back an re-read them! Thanks, this was a fun read. 😀


    • Isn’t he awesome?!

      I think I know “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut” 100% by heart. My daughter and I will take turns reciting verses on the way home from school!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! . . . And yes, of course . . . go re-read some Dr. Seuss!


  3. This is my favorite post of yours so far, Dayle! I find that I completely identify with Dr. Seuss’ quote on being alone. The freelance writing lifestyle seems to mesh with my personality — I love being in a cozy nook on my own, even if I don’t have my computer to entertain me. But I bet you don’t ever have to be alone if you don’t want to, Dayle — doesn’t social media help? =)

    P.S. I loved your attempt at Seussian writing! =)


    • Thanks Samantha! . . . Btw, I just subscribed your blog as well . . . looking forward to reading through it 🙂

      Social media does help . . . I am certainly a facebook addict and I LOVE how I’ve been able to reconnect with friends . . . but I think of “alone” as more physcially alone. I kind of lack the desire to go out and be social, but I like being around people . . . I don’t quite make a lot of sense 😛 When my boyfriend’s not home at night I still kind of feel wacky, but I’ve learned to just enjoy the peacefulness and use the time to take care of me . . . . to enjoy that cozy little nook you reference 🙂


      • Thanks so much, Dayle! I’m so glad we can keep in touch through our blogs.

        I think I understand! How about pets?! =) Pets make a household super lively and you don’t ever have to force yourself to be social with them if you don’t want to! =)


  4. I have a cat, a ferret, two turtles, and some fish . . . I am going to meet who I am hoping will be my ferret’s new brother on Monday . . . Yeah, I got the pet thing covered! 🙂


  5. Wonderful post! I always thought Dr. Suess had a lot to share if we listened hard through the rhymes. I was the only one in my family who noticed The Lorax in the film Avatar. More you read is also one of my favorites, I even had a post with it. Great!


  6. From the Grinch: And he puzzled and puzzed, till his puzzler was sore.
    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
    “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
    Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”


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