Life Lessons From Dr. Seuss

Image of land from Dr. Seuss books

On September 24, 1991, the world mourned the loss of beloved author, Theodore Seuss Geisel. Better known as Dr. Seuss, Geisel published more than 60 children’s books, the majority under the Dr. Seuss pseudonym (with more than a dozen as Theo LeSieg and one as Rosetta Stone).

Known for his whimsical characters, Geisel’s rhyming, sing-song approach to storytelling continues to delight young and old alike. Geisel’s books are fun to read, yet the messages within the pages are equally important.

Many of Geisel’s books address common childhood issues, such as fitting in and bullying, while others deal with political and social issues, such as taking care of the environment. As Geisel’s characters work through these issues, they learn valuable life lessons.

Here is an excerpt from the book “The Sneetches: And Other Stories,” where the author teaches children about tolerance and acceptance.

“Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.”

Yet, when Star-Belly children had “frankfurter roasts or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,” the Plain-Belly Sneetches were never invited. Read “The Sneetches” to discover how things change when Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town!

Below are some additional excerpts from Geisel’s books, along with the life lessons they provide.

Keep learning throughout your life! From the book, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

“There are so many things you can learn about, but you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

Individuals can make a difference. From the book, “The Lorax

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

Don’t be afraid to try something new. From the book, “Green Eggs and Ham

“You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.”

Determine your own destiny. From the book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go

“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Everyone deserves equal rights. From the book: “Yertle the Turtle

I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we, too, should have rights.

Be yourself! From the book, “Happy Birthday to You!

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

Photo credit: Dr. Seuss Landscape via Flickr (license).