Like many of us, I grew up on Dr. Seuss.
My parents would frequently read aloud The Sneetches, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax, among others. We would watch the animated version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” every Christmas Eve. And when I spoke at my high school graduation, I ended my speech with an excerpt from Oh, The Places You’ll Go.
Rediscovering these pieces of my childhood is always a nostalgic joy. And it’s particularly fun to realize the wisdom buried in so many of the childhood books and movies we grew up on.
That’s what I realize every time I return to Dr. Seuss. His language is so simple and accessible, so it’s easy to disregard the understated wisdom contained within his books.
But it’s there—and it’s surprisingly poignant, surprisingly enlightening, and surprisingly helpful for navigating the ups and downs of being a human.
Here are 12 Dr. Seuss quotes that can help us in adulthood as much as they amused us in childhood:
1. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
2. “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
3. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
4. “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”
5. “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
6. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
7. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
8. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
9. “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
10. “Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.”
11. “I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.”
12. “Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”