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10 essential life lessons from Dr. Seuss

There are more than a few life lessons Dr. Theodor Seuss passed along through his whimsical characters and rhyming style. In recognition of the life he led and the legacy he left behind, Antoinette Rahn shares a few of her favorite kinds.

Some of the most beloved educators are not certified teachers at all, but authors of children’s books both big and small. One of those whose creative mind and giving heart enthralled readers young and old from the start was Dr. Theodor Seuss.

Although it’s been 115 years since his birth and 26 years since we bid Dr. Seuss adieu, his legacy of entertaining and inspiring storytelling lives on in the lives of more than a few. Instead of somber reflection about the loss of this man, we are celebrating 10 life lessons in his writing he gave us to keep close at hand.

Self Portrait of Seuss

A self-portrait of Dr. Seuss by Seuss drawn in ink on tracing paper, measuring 9 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches, realized $8,125 during the May 2015 Illustration Art Signature Auction presented by Heritage Auctions.

1. Be ready - be imaginative - but above all else, be you.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” -- Dr. Seuss, “Happy Birthday to You!”, first published in 1959

2. Listen carefully to the heart-felt stories someone chooses to share - they are valuable commodities and experiences you can’t recreate on a whim.

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” -- “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut,” first published in 1978

3. Be humble and appreciative, always.

“It’s high time you were shown that you really don’t know all there is to be known.” --“On Beyond Zebra,” first published in 1955

4. Live life with intention and actively participate in as many moments as possible.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” -- “The Lorax,” first published in 1971

A moment in Antiques Roadshow history, involving a truly scarce wooden carving of a Dr. Seuss character, is certainly one for the books. Although the appraisal, by Simeon Lipman which took place in 2001, included a reported value of $25,000 an updated assessment from 2016 puts the value at $100,000.Enjoy the original assessment...

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5. Be strong and steady for others when in need..

“Of course I will stick. I’ll stick by you small folks through thin and through thick.” -- “Horton Hears A Who!” first published in 1954

6. Seek positive experiences, adventures and mindsets with great regularity; negative feelings and thoughts linger and corrode with great intensity.

“She turned on her UN-Thinker, tried to think the Glunk away, but she found that her UN-Thinker

Seuess Lunch Box illustration drawing

Original illustration drawn by Dr. Seuss of The Cat In the Hat to appear on a lunchbox manufactured by Aladdin in 1970. The artwork is dated 1969 and measures 11 1/4 inches by 9 1/4 inches and sold for a staggering $31,070 during Heritage Auctions' Aug. 2017 Comic & Comic Art Auction.

didn’t seem to work that day. The Glunk just smiled and said, “Dear child, you can’t UN-thunk a Glunk. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you that a Glunk can’t be UN-Thunk.” -- “The Glunk That Got Thunk,” first published in 1969 as part of “I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!”

7. Approach life with a sense of balance.

“And when they played they really PLAYED. And when they worked they really WORKED,” -- "The King’s Stilts,' first published in 1939

8. Trust your instincts.

“My trouble was I had a mind but I couldn't make it up!” -- “Hunches in Bunches,” first published in 1982

9. Be kind to yourself, as you are the constant in your own life.

“I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.” -- “Oh, The Places You Will Go,” first published in 1990

10. Speak your truth.

“So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!” -- “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” first published in 1960

***Enjoy another article about Dr. Seuss' creativity, demonstrated in lesser-known illustrations, posted by our sister publishing group Print magazine. View this article>>>

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