Beloved children’s author Theodor Geisel, commonly known as Dr. Seuss, is known for writing and illustrating children’s books with quirky characters and creative rhymes that often include words we’ve never heard of. Not only is reading a Dr. Seuss book fun as a child, but at the age of 22, I still find it a treat whenever I get the chance to read one of his books. Maybe this is because the books of Dr. Seuss have something that us “adults” can learn from. Here are my favorite Dr. Seuss life lessons:
1. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you known what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”
This passage is from the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! This is probably one of the most well known passages written by Dr. Seuss. Prominent in graduation cards, these words are a reminder to dream big. You may be on your own in this world, but there’s no limit to what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it.
2. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
This quote is from the book Horton Hears a Who! This book is about Horton the elephant who protects the Whos living on a small speck of dust. Throughout the book, Horton diligently protects the Whos, even though he is constantly ridiculed. This is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes for two reasons: First, a person IS a person, no matter how small. It is our job to respect our fellow humans. Second, Horton endures ridicule from the other animals for believing in something he can’t see. If you are passionate enough about something, don’t let people’s opinions affect you.
3. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
This quote is from the book I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! This is a good reminder of the value of an education. No one can take your education away from you. The things you learn stick with you forever (even though sometimes it may not seem like it), and you’ll have informed, well-rounded views because of that.
4. “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
This quote isn’t from a book, but rather from Dr. Seuss himself. I appreciate this quote because it reminds me how much the actions of one person can make a difference to someone else. So next time your friend is having a down day, do something special for him or her. You never know how much it may mean.
5. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
This quote is from The Lorax. In my opinion, The Lorax is the saddest Dr. Seuss book. I will admit I haven’t seen the recent movie (I want to!), so I apologize if I put a depressing spin on it. The Lorax raises concern about the environmental issues facing our world today. The book centers around the Once-ler who harvests the Truffula trees for his own financial gain. Throughout the book, the Lorax “speaks for the trees”, but much to his dismay, the Once-ler ignores his pleas and the Truffula trees continue to be cut down until the area is desolate. I won’t reveal the ending, but let’s just say the Once-ler has a change of heart. This book not only explains the ramifications that come from not respecting the environment, but also serves as a reminder to not let others stop you from speaking up about something you strongly believe in.
6. “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom, we too should have rights.”
This quote is from the book Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. Yertle the turtle is king of the pond and a stone serves as his throne. However, Yertle isn’t happy with his stone. Therefore, he begins to order all of the other turtles to stand on top of one another so that he can see the vastness of his kingdom. As the stack gets higher and higher, the turtles begin to ache from pain and hunger. It isn’t until another turtle, Mack, speaks up that the turtles eventually gain their freedom. This book serves as a reminder that everyone has rights and you should never take advantage of someone else.
7. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
8. “Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!”
Though they aren’t from a book, these last two quotes are my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. Their lesson is simple. Just be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself! There’s no one better at being you than YOU!
What do you think of these quotes? Are there any additional Dr. Seuss quotes that inspire you? What are your favorite Dr. Seuss books?
“ASAP. Whatever that means. It must mean, ‘Act swiftly awesome pacyderm.” Horton Hears a Who!