Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lessons From The Lorax

Dr. Seuss and I were in Ms Bronson's room after recess today, talking about personal responsibility.
 With appropriately Seuss-ian bombast, I channeled the Once-ler and the Lorax as a cornucopia of kindergarteners sat, rapt, at my feet.

It's a long story and it's hard to sit still but Grandma Suzi has a certain stare, learned from her own mother, that can quiet even the most rambunctious squirmer.

My eyes focus, the silence grows longer, the other students turn to glare as well, and before you know it we're all back, once again sitting criss-cross-applesauce with our butts on the green carpet, watching the deforestation of the Truffula Trees.

"I am the Lorax!  I speak for the trees!"

It was a powerful message, delivered with typical Grandma style.  Every you in the story was directed to a particular listener, with a grin and a pointed arm and finger and a raised eyebrow or two.  They giggled, they cowered, they grimaced.  We were all there with the Once-ler, laughing at the Humming-Fish walking on their fins while we felt sad, so very sad, about the Gluppity-Glupp and Schloppity-Schlopp in the air and the pond, forcing them and the Brown Bar-ba-loots in their Bar-ba-loot suits to leave The Street of The Lifted Lorax.

"That's really bad!" we all agreed.  What could be done?  Grandma turned the page, and read on:
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, 
nothing's going to get better. 
 It's not.

That you came with a sweeping gesture, encompassing them all.  There wasn't an in-attentive eye, as I read it again.
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, 
nothing's going to get better. 
 It's not.

That's true for everything, we agreed.  If you care about something you have to do something about it.  You can't wait for him-or-her-or-me-or-them.... unless you care a lot, nothing's going to get better.  

It's not.

So we smiled as the Lorax tossed out a Truffula Seed, a seed we could plant and nurture, something we could do to make the world better.... or at least, not any worse. We thought about that as I handed out stickers and hugs, and I've been thinking about it all afternoon.

Who speaks for you?  For whom do you speak?  It's all right there, in 60 pages of silliness, the question that's being answered in airports all around the country, as America's reputation fo openess and inclusion is being rewritten in the Oval Office.

I am a citizen!  I speak for America!  Because UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not.  

So........ Isn't there a postcard you should be writing or a phone call you should be making?  As the book tells us, Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.


  1. I love the Lorax. It's one of my favorite books. And a great reminder about stepping up for what you believe in. Thanks for reminding me of the calls I need to make today.

    Hope all is well with you.

    Megan xxx

  2. Doing it. Speaking out. An awful lot!


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