If you were born during the late 1960’s or later there is a good chance you have read a book by Theodor Geisel. He is known as one of the most intelligent, creative and silliest minds to have penned over 44 books. His style of writing has compelled children, and adults, to enjoy reading. His whimsical nonsense rhymes are fun, they wrestle your brain and make you feel young. See what I did there? His characters have taught us all important lessons, and have grown our hearts three sizes. I am, of course, talking about the great Dr. Seuss.
Of all the wonderful books Mr. Theodor Seuss Geisel has shared with the world, one of my favorites is I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!. Published by Random House on November 12, 1978, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! is a summation of a larger message the good doctor successfully left imprinted in all his works.
In May of 1954, Life Magazine published an article reporting that children were having trouble reading books because they were boring. Geisel’s publisher at that time was moved by the article and asked Geisel to take a list of 250 words that the publisher thought were important and write a book. After nine months, Dr. Seuss’s first book, The Cat in the Hat, was an instant success. This sparked the big bang of nonsensical literature that spurred off into so many different characters, lands and themes.
Throughout the 44 or so books something that every reader has experienced is fun. The mission set out in 1954, to make books interesting for children was met but served a greater purpose. That purpose was the habit forming addiction that is only sated by reading, an addiction to knowledge.
In Napoleon Hill’s chapter on Organized Planning, we learn the importance of knowing. Through a life of learning, which primarily consists of reading, we become confident in what we know about the world and the things in it, and when we are comfortable in what we know, we become comfortable with ourselves. Knowledge is a strange form of proprioception – The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium. Knowing where you are makes it easier to decide where you are going, and possible drive you toward your purpose or passion.
The knowledge learned from any of Geisel’s works is designed to foster open mindedness and enlighten our understanding that silliness is not a bad thing, but rather a tool for greatness. It drives into the subconscious of the youth that reading isn’t work, because after all, it’s not work if it’s fun right?
I am overjoyed at night, when prepping my two year-old daughter for “night night,” when she points to her stack of Dr. Seuss books and asks to read before bed. She giggles at the words and eagerly flips pages as we stumble over precarious verses and foreign words. If I am not careful she will hustle me into reading her more than one, but where’s the harm if she’s staying up past her bedtime to read.
So enjoy yourself and break in the binding of a Seuss, or a Theo Le Sieg book (his other pen name). If you don’t enjoy reading, maybe you can ignite that interest alongside another, like a child. Learning with others creates ideas and strengthens bonds. Communication improves, and we know a little bit more every time we flip a page. What will you learn about yourself through reading?
“You might learn a way to earn a few dollars.
Or how to make doughnuts…
or kangaroo collars.”
By: David Joseph Leingang