With the world we live in today, filled with political scandal, environmental degradation, and the rapid advancement of technology, it’s refreshing to have a moment to reflect. To reflect on a simpler time with an author whose literature is familiar to all. That author is Dr. Seuss. Though a children’s author, his writing resonates with our current world in such an eerie way, it almost seems as though Mr. Seuss was foreshadowing things to come. Below are a few lines from his stories which apply to climate change, global awareness, and travel in general as well. While reading them, think about when you first heard the line and try and think of how it applies to you now before reading my interpretation of it.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax has always been a favorite of mine and has always delivered a similar message to me. Reading it for the first time in many years after my knowledge about climate change has grown significantly, it hits me a whole lot harder. Our planet is in a very fragile state. We are almost at the point of return; if we push things only a bit further Earth will no longer be able to recover. We need to respect this verse that he wrote. We must focus on protecting endangered species and restoring habitats for at-risk species. His logic rings true: if we protect and rebuild habitats, species will come back! They will reproduce, they will live, and they will thrive. But we need to take action. That means stopping poaching, deforestation, and the pollution of our oceans, reducing our carbon emissions and making a significant effort to protect our at-risk species.
This quote is very close to my heart. Humans have no right to poach or enslave animals in return for monetization or entertainment. We believe that we are entitled to everything the natural world has to offer; that the Earth’s resources are here for us to exploit. To go hand-in-hand with this ignorance, we also believe because we are entitled to these natural commodities, there is no impact on us harvesting them. We’re wrong, very wrong! Between the millions of sharks killed each year, depleting fish stocks, and deforestation of hundreds of thousands of acres, maybe it’s time those exploiting animals take time out of their busy schedules to sit down, read a children’s book, and think about why they are any more important or deserving of life than the countless species they are impacting. Why can’t we adopt Dr. Seuss’ approach? We need to give all living creatures the freedom they were born with and let them live the way they were meant to, free from our interference.
There are a lot of people out there who are blind to what is going on in this world, myself sometimes included. I don’t know every current event that is happening or has happened, but I do my best to stay informed. The same should apply to everyone else, especially those who live in denial based purely on their own decision not to inform themselves. Ignorance is not bliss. It shouldn’t be a burden to educate yourself, it should be something you actively pursue and want to do. You don’t need to know everything about everything, but educate yourself on the important matters affecting our world. I have always been a firm believer in education, and I believe that regardless of what education level you are, if you read and actively commit to bettering your understanding of our world, then you open the door to a world of possibilities.
This is one of my personal favorites from Dr. Seuss. Yet another quote from The Lorax, this one really does speak volumes! Given the state our world is in, we need to take action. We need to engage with the causes we are passionate about and put effort into fighting for them. It means you need to have something inside you that makes different from everyone else, and you need to care a whole awful lot! You need to have a burning passion, a drive that makes you want to make a difference and motivates you each and every day. The people who have changed the world in meaningful ways have all had unstoppable passions for what they believed in and pursued those passions regardless of those who were against them. Be one of those people. Be a difference maker.
Our world may soon be in its darkest hour, so the time for action is now. We may feel as though one voice in a world of over 7 billion people makes no difference, but that’s wrong. If you stand up and defend what you believe in, others may realize that they too should voice their opinions. As Leonardo DiCaprio said in his film Before the Flood, leaders do not lead, they listen to what the people want and are, in a sense, followers of the people. So, while a hand-written letter to President Trump or PM Trudeau may be a long shot, signing petitions, attending rallies, and joining social movements to promote change will make a difference. Collaborative efforts with those who are as passionate as you will make a difference and ensure your voice is heard. Be a part of something bigger than yourself. Be a part of a change.
The above quote here comes from McElligot’s Pool and I think applies quite accurately to our ocean and our understanding of it. The ocean is such a fascinating place and we know so little about it. We can only swim and explore the tiniest fraction of it and yet it plays such a crucial role in our planet’s life; in fact, it is actually the key to all life on this planet. If the oceans die, we die. I think this quote is so powerful because it’s so eerily accurate. We really have no idea what the hell is going on beneath the surface. Sure, we know a lot about what we can see in the top few meters of the ocean, but there is so much mystery and uncertainty that lies within its depths that we should be humbled. The ocean is more powerful than any of us, and we need to respect that. We must do what we can to protect its power, its beauty, and the abundance of life that it both provides and contains, for it is the system that holds us all together. So the next time you go swimming, boating, or diving, thank the ocean for providing you with the hospitable conditions to do so, and for the beauty which you are lucky enough to surround yourself with.
Be grateful. Those who are lucky enough to travel and experience difference countries and cultures are just that: lucky. Don’t take it for granted. Travel is a privilege. Use it to better yourself, to immerse yourself in a new world, to change lives. Take advantage of every moment. Disconnect from the world. Yes, taking pictures is great, but sometimes being in the moment is better than capturing it. Do not be boastful about your triumphs of climbing a mountain or jumping off the highest cliff, but be humble. Many people out there will never get the opportunity to travel; to experience a culture different from their own. Even if everything is going wrong; be it bad weather, stormy seas, long plane rides or slow drivers, always remember how lucky you are to be somewhere else. Be content when traveling. Be optimistic when traveling. Be grateful always. Because somewhere out there, someone would be grateful to be in your position.
Dr. Seuss provides such simple, elementary rhymes that pack such profound meanings that I am left speechless. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and took to heart some of his messages along with my interpretations. Whatever his intentions, be it children’s amusement or deeper analysis, I would like to thank Dr. Seuss for not only being the inspiration behind this post but also for a fantastic childhood. Thank you!