Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was the famous children’s book author. He was also a philosopher. Seuss-isms! A Guide to Life for Those Just Starting Out…and Those Already on Their Way offers a taste of some of his wit and wisdom.
Be True To Yourself
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 know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
— Oh, the Places You’ll Go
Listen to Good Advice
Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom
as he sat there on that chair:
“To eat these things,” said my uncle,
“you must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what’s solid …
BUT … you must spit out the air.”
— My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers
Think Before You Speak
My father had warned me, “Don’t babble. Don’t bray.
For you never can tell who might hear what you say.”
My father had warned me, “But button your lip.”
And I guess that I should have. I made a bad slip.
— Steak for Supper
Tell the Truth
“Stop telling such outlandish tales.
Stop turning minnows into whales.”
— And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
This was no time for play.
This was no time for fun.
This was no time for games.
There was work to be done.
— The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
Don’t Be Afraid to Accept Help
I floated twelve days without toothpaste or soap.
I practically, almost, had given up hope
When someone up high shouted, “Here! Catch the rope!”
Then I knew that my troubles had come to an end
And I climbed the rope, calling, “Thank you, my friend!”
— I had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew
Expect the Unexpected
I heard a strange ‘peep’ and I took a quick look
And you know what I saw with the look that I took?
A bird laid an egg on my ‘rithmetic book!
— Marco Comes Late
Try New Things
I do not like
I do not like them,
Sam I am.
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
The places I hiked to!
The roads that I rambled
To find the best eggs
that have ever been scrambled!
If you want to get eggs
you can’t buy at a store,
You have to do things
never thought of before.
— Scrambled Eggs Super
Reading Expands Your Horizons
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!
When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad …
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more …
oh, ever so much more …
oh muchly much-much more
unlucky than you.
— Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
Embrace your strengths
Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am!
— Happy Birthday to You
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole lot,
nothing is going to get better,
— The Lorax
The rabbit felt mighty
important that day
On top of the hill
in the sun where he lay.
He felt SO important
up there on that hill
That he started bragging
as animals will …
— The Big Brag
Learn to Improvise
“All I need is a reindeer. …”
The Grinch looked around.
But, since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch?
No! The Grinch simply said,
“If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead!”
So he called his dog, Max. Then he took some red thread,
And he tied a big horn on the top of his head.
— How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Seuss-isms! A Guide to Life for Those Just Starting Out…and Those Already on Their Way dispenses invaluable life advice like only Dr. Seuss can.
This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.
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