Theodor and Henrietta Geisel welcomed their son into the world on March 2, 1904 . They gave the boy his father’s name, though he wasn’t a junior—young Theodor’s middle name was Seuss.
Geisel went on to attend Dartmouth College and graduated in 1925. He was returning from a trip abroad in 1937 when the rhythm of the ship’s engines inspired what would become his first book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street. That book was rejected nearly thirty times before it found a publisher, and Theodor Geisel became Dr. Seuss.
Few writers will ever achieve the enduring popularity of Dr. Seuss, fewer still will come to hold such a prominent place in the childhoods of so many people. I was raised on the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat. So were my kids. And to this day I’ll pull a worn copy of one of his books from my shelf and read it. Wisdom comes from many places, and it often pours forth from the minds of those who write for children.
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes from his books. They’ve inspired, they’ve healed, and they’ve gotten me through.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
“It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.”
“Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.”
“Step with care and great tact. And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”
“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
“It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
“Everything stinks till it’s finished.”
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
And one more, my all-time favorite: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss quote?