Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) wanted people to change for the better, and this is easily noticeable when reading his stories. Others may tell you that he did not intend to teach us morals, but all it takes is a little look beyond the book to understand where this came from. Mr. Geisel would kid around when asking if he had children since he wrote books for them, often replying that you can have the children and I will teach them with my stories.
As an idealist he spent most of his life trying to improve how people behaved, and wrote over 60 books during his lifetime. Mr. Geisel would be considered a polymath due to his diverse experience with the world around him. In his early career, he worked for a left-wing newspaper called PM in New York, and wrote children books after getting his break in publishing. He left us a story before passing, called "Because A Little Bug Went Ka-choo".
Socially reinventing people must be a tremendous task, and not many could think of a person who has done a better job trying to do this than Dr. Seuss. His story ending with "Because A Little Bug Went Ka-choo" explains how cause and effect works in real life with illustrations that would captivate even one who is not listening. In fact a guy from F.O. Swartz read one of his first children's book and could not put it down, reading it over and over about how an elephant would sit on a bird's nest helping out a friend while she took a break and went to Palm Beach. Mr. Geisel was then offered a home for his books, where the toy store would build a display with an Elephant sitting on a nest high up in a tree because this elephant wanted to stand by his word, and help out a friend in need. How could anyone not want to listen to what Dr. Seuss wanted to teach us? It begs us to ask why he would write one last story teaching us about the effects of our actions. I found a passage from one of his books, giving me a glimpse into how this man thought, and wanted to include here for you:
"Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack"
This reminds me how George Carlin must have looked at things, using all of his senses to put together morals in a funny way hoping that we would listen. Maybe our definition of intelligence does not begin to explain the depths of either of these men's knowledge, nor could our definition of perseverance come close to the dedication either of these men offered us. It would be ashamed not to listen! While I was researching the writer in my article, I found some other passages that I know he would want me to share:
"In the places I go there are things that I see that I never could spell if I stopped with the Z. I'm telling you this 'cause you're one of my friends. My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!"
Why settle for what society has defined our lives to be like. It always seems to occur that my elders tell me that I am an Idealist, as though these things would never happen. Dr. Seuss says not to listen to them, do it anyway, and he would probably bet a nickel that they would join in once we did it. Got a good feeling about this man, he did not finish college at Oxford probably for the same reason Buckminster Fuller did not finish Harvard. Just as the quote above states, our writer did not want to become like the rest of us, he had the imagination we could be more. Maybe this also had something to do with the following passage I found, and it went something like this:
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room"
After all, this was the message in the 1960's wanting us to not be programed by the ones around us. In fact my theory is that he felt that his children's books could reach children before they were programed by their parents, and how clever is this, he got the parents to read the story to them. You have to understand when dealing with intelligence of this magnitude, that these men like Geisel really did have an alphabet that started where yours and mine left off.
I was a little disappointed with the Wikipedia page on our topic,, seemed like it missed the underlying beauty of this writer, and what he was trying to accomplish. Just because he was involved with the military at such a magnitude early in his life, it does not mean he did not see things that made him question what our end goal is. Edgar Rice Burroughs had a similar background, all to have something happen that turned his writing all the way around as shown with the story of Tarzan. Maybe getting close to the truth in our lives happens when we are the closet to the problem. Kipling traveled to India which inspired his story about the Jungle book, imagine what all Geisel witnessed while traveling to over 60 countries before writing his books. Dr. Seuss would have a reply for this too, "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple", and "Because A Little Bug Went Ka-choo"
We have come full circle to the beginning our story here. His last message in his book was what we all needed to hear during our present time. Maybe the stories were not for the children after all, maybe they were for the adults who were reading them.