Five Things We Learned From Dr. Seuss

by Mr. Ben Myers

Dr. Seuss has had an influence on children for many years—both in the past and in the present. His unique stories are both entertaining and educational, and children love the fun and unique rhymes and pictures.

Dr. Seuss was born Theodore Suess Gelsel on March 2, 1904. He is mostly known as a writer, but he was also a cartoonist and poet. Throughout his life, Suess published 46 children's books, and though he mostly used the pen name Dr. Suess, he also wrote books under the names of Rosetta Stone and Theo LeSleg.

As a writer, his stories entertained and inspired, but most of all, they taught lessons. The following are five things that we learned from Dr. Suess.

1. Treat people kindly.

Dr. Suess taught us that people cannot be judged by what they do in life or who they are. Everyone has a story and a history, and since you do not know everything about a person, you cannot judge them. This is evident in The Sneetches and Other Stories.

In Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, Dr. Suess teaches us that we cannot piggyback off of people or misuse them in any way just to be successful. In the story, Yertle, who was king of the pond, made his subject turtles climb on top of each other other so that he could climb to the top and be higher than the moon. Eventually, the tower of turtles fell. The story teaches us that not only will we fail by trying to succeed this way, but we'll also pass the people we took advantage of  as we fall back down.

2. Make the most of your world.

The Cat in the Hat teaches us that you need to make the most of your situation and create your own world. If  you're bored, find something to do and have fun with it. Don't be afraid to be different. Don't be afraid to make a mess, and simply live in the moment. The world is your canvas. Draw something.

3. You have to earn your success.

Things will not be handed to you. Instead, you have to work for them. Live the way that you want to live and be the person you want to be. If someone tells you that you can't do something, prove them wrong. Don't listen and conform to the thoughts and beliefs of others. Be unique and make your own path to success.

4. Watch what you wish for.

People take their lives and the things they have for granted. We yearn for things others have, and we sometimes wish for those things we want to happen. Most people don't realize what they have until it's gone, and if you make the wrong wish, you could end up severely disappointed.

The King of Didd realized this in Bartholomew and the Ooblek. He became bored with the  weather and asked for it to be changed to something new. It did, and in its place he received Ooblek goo, which was sticky and worse than the weather. The King of Didd was even more unhappy, and then wanted his old weather back.

5. Be the best person you can be.

You are an individual, and you need to make the most of it. Don't become a shadow to someone else, and don't follow what others are doing. Instead, learn the qualities that make you who you are, and use them to be the best person you can be. As Dr. Suess said, "There is no one alive who is Youer than You".

This post was written by Mr. Ben Myers

Ben Myers is a college English professor.  He is currently grading a huge stack of Hamlet essays.  In his spare time, Ben likes to study about learning methods and learning disabilities.

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