I really love writing. There is something soothing about getting my wildly rambling thoughts in some kind of order on the screen in front of me. My fingers like the rhythmic motion of typing. Many times I find myself considering the writings of great authors of history and finding my feeble attempts fall short of conveying the message and evoking the action or feeling I’m going for. Just the craftsmanship of a well turned phrase or a character that comes to life, are things that make me more than a little reluctant to add my simplicity to the volumes of printed material reflecting the human story.
Today is the birthday of one of the most influential authors of the last century. He is loved by fans of all ages. His work spans decades and covers a myriad of topics. He has taken on interpersonal relationships, environmental issues, discrimination, self esteem, greed, politics, economics, international and domestic affairs years before it was fashionable or the evening news. His opinions are very pronounced even if some of the words he has used are tongue twisters. His philosophy has influenced generations and expanded the possibility thinking capacity of some of the best minds of today. He perfected taking the new and unknown and making it fun and easy to master. His sense of whimsy and wisdom are so smoothly intertwined that moving from one to the other is child’s play.
As a young child I had great difficulty reading. First grade was a nightmare. I don’t remember much but do remember what seemed like hours crying and struggling to read. Then came my hero, the man who opened the door to the wonder of the written word and the unlimited imagination waiting to be expressed and enjoyed just beyond the door. There were Tweedle Beetle Battles and Three Cheese Trees. There was a very persistent culinary advocate, Bartholomew’s hats and Horton and a cat and a fox. Slow Joe Crow and the socks Sue sews and Ooblick. There was Mulberry Street and McElliott’s Pool. Places and people who became familiar and made reading something to look forward to, something to delight in, something to bring laughter and joy with learning.
So for all the wonderful hours spent reading since I first picked up Hop On Pop and Fox In Sox and Cat In The Hat, thank you, Dr. Seuss. You are my hero. You are the man who opened the door for me and for literally millions of others. You are the one who made reading fun. Though you are gone now, you have left what all authors aspire to. You have changed the world with your words.
Looking at the word count at the bottom of the screen, my little trip down memory lane and thank you note have taken more words that many of his books and will have far less impact and far shorter shelf life. I still have so much to learn from the writings of the good Dr.