Wisdom from Children’s Books & Movies III
“Life is like a camera….focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.” (Unknown)
Point to Ponder:
Are you waiting for great things to happen in your life or are you actively pursuing them every day?
Take full advantage of your life and start climbing your mountain(s), even if you are unsure of the top — just start stepping.
Upon graduating from college, I was given the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Before reading it I was dumbfounded that my very close friends would give me a children’s book for a college graduation gift. Then, I read it and it made perfect sense. As in all of Dr. Seuss’ books, the illustrations are whimsical and childlike, but the story covers every square inch of life’s interesting journeys and the opportunities that await us, if we so choose. Here is my favorite message from the book:
Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
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.
It’s opener there in the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race
down long, wiggled roads at a break-neck pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil,
or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That’s not for you!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!
This book is bursting with greatness! It does seems perfectly suited for a college graduate, however, I actually think it makes better sense for those of us who live more predictable and routine lives (due to our jobs, children, family responsibilities, etc.) to read so we can be reminded of the plentiful opportunities that are bubbling around us. We just have to look up and see them!
My reasoning for this is that a graduate’s life experience is limited, causing them to be inherently fearless and able to see life as giant blank canvas. But, as we all know, life is hard and full of setbacks. It doesn’t take too long of being in “the real world” to experience crushed dreams, broken hearts, and unmet expectations…and suddenly life doesn’t seem as wide open and filled with opportunity as it once did. This is a universal experience that can cause us to become less optimistic, hopeless, and even jaded, which keeps us existing in a fear-based room called (as Dr. Seuss says) “The Waiting Place” — the worst place to be.
In life, I think it’s very easy to become complacent. I also think it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and give up on pursuing the things that truly interest you. Perhaps these are things that you optimistically set out to explore and achieve following college. Or maybe they are new interests? Either way, what’s most important and exciting is that everyday is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!