Be yourself and speak your mind.
Leave all of the doubts behind.
You can do anything, whatever you choose
If you try, you cannot lose.
Things get hard, yes, that is true
But keep on going, you’ll get through.
Your mountain is waiting, just start to climb.
Step with care and take your time.
Look at you, you’re at the top.
Now you’ve started, you will not stop.
From the summit, what do you see?
A world of possibility!
A world where you matter, a world you can change.
Everyone’s different, but no one is strange.
Everyone matters, big, little, small, tall.
But guess what matters most of all?
Our land, our water, our trees, our air.
We need more people like you to care.
It would make a difference, it would mean a lot.
Together we can, alone we cannot.
But if just one person could raise their voice…
It’s up to you; the future’s your choice.
This is what I learned from Theodor Seuss Geisel’s books.
His words inspired me to be myself, to dream my wildest dreams, to fight for what I believe in. Dr. Seuss did so much more than teach generations to read, he inspired creativity and made us believe in possibility. From And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street to Green Eggs and Ham, every story was an adventure.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go is to this very day all I need to read when I’m feeling doubt. Not just a children’s tale, it tells a lesson everyone should learn. There are ups and downs in life, things can get tough, but if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can move mountains. It might not always feel that way, but with a little knowledge and a lot of perseverance, amazing things can happen.
We choose our destinies, we have power—we have brains in our head and feet in our shoes and can steer ourselves in any direction we choose! Believing this, believing I matter, believing that I could do anything was an invaluable lesson. I just needed to decide what I was going to do, what direction I would choose; then I read The Lorax.
The Lorax changed my life and shaped the activist I am today. I only wanted to save the Truffula trees; then, I realized there was a much deeper message. Truffula trees aren’t real, but our planet is, and we only have one. We need this earth much more than it needs us. We must appreciate it. Greed and mass consumerism are destroying our planet, just as they destroyed the Lorax’s world. We need to save it while we still can. We need to speak for the oceans, the forests, the air and the animals who don’t have a voice.
The Lorax is a cautionary tale disguised as a children’s story, but it is also a message of hope. It ends with a seed, the chance to start something new. I’m willing to change; will you be the change, too?
Author: Kristen Koennemann
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own