No, really, you do.
Stop shaking your head like that.
Theodore Geisel is better known as Dr. Seuss.
SEE!!!! Told you so.
I adore Theodore Geisel. I think he was one of the greatest creative geniuses of our time. Maybe any time.
Anyway, I was reading my very favorite Dr. Seuss book to my 20 month old daughter tonight and I remembered just how much I love it. The book is not one of his most famous. In fact, I don't know that most people have read it. But they should.
It's called "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
It was the last book published in his lifetime. And it was published almost 5 months to the day before I got sober.
So, I read the book for the first time as an adult. And fell in love with it.
In my own life, I find it every bit as influential as the Big Book in my life. Sometimes, I think the guidance is even better.
"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."
Truly, I think every parent should be reading this to their children. Hell, I think most adults should use it as a study guide for themselves.
Today's "everybody's a winner" society where every kid gets a trophy; where scores aren't counted in little league games; where we never teach our children how to lose, drives me absolutely insane.
What the hell are we teaching our kids?
We're doing them a disservice by letting them think that everybody always wins. That they'll always win.
They'd be better served by learning how to pick themselves back up after they fall. I'm not saying you don't encourage them, but they also need to expect to fail sometimes. Because they will.
They need to know that sometimes bad things happen. And they can get through it.
It's exactly what Dr. Seuss wrote about in this book.
"Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.
Because sometimes you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
can happen to you." [emphasis in original]
I guess that some people don't want their kids to know about it, but I can't imagine why. It happens to everyone. And losing sometimes sucks.
"And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
is not easily done."
Ain't that the truth? I can tell you for a fact that it is.
"I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on."
Yeah. Been there. Been there most of my life.
But here's the part that's really important (if you want to know exactly how the book goes, buy the damn book!):
"But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!"
Truthfully, I tear up a little bit every time that I read that. (Yes. I AM aware that I'm a huge dork.) I almost feel like he's cheering me on. And I'm certainly no kid.
Here's my point though... Are you setting a good example for your children? What are you teaching them about handling adversity? Are you facing your fears? How do you perservere when times are tough?
If you're not doing it, what the hell are you waiting for? They're not getting any younger and neither are you. If that's not enough motivation, let me give you a little more encouragement from Dr. Seuss:
"Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So... get on your way!"
What fear are you going to face today?
Just Keep Coming Back
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