This week would be Dr. Seuss’ 115th birthday week. We celebrate with a whole world of people this impactful and thoughtful artist whose illustrations and storytelling have touched millions of minds from birth to old age.
The Doorway has always had a special appreciation for Dr. Seuss. A young woman who participated in our first year [as The Back Door] wrote a reflection several years later, an analogy of her journey getting off the street to the Dr. Seuss story: GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
TITLE: Sam! If you will let me be, I will try them, you will see!”
“Most of those who will read this will remember this line from Dr. Seuss. He spends about 90% of the book telling Sam he does not like green eggs and ham. He goes on and on about, not here or there, or anywhere, not with a mouse or in a house etc. It’s only when Sam suggests he may like them, does he then say… “Oh all right, I’ll give it a try.” He figures he’ll get rid of Sam if he tries them. It only takes the last few pages of the book, and he’s hooked on green eggs and ham!
Trying to think of how the Back Door works and how to write this out, I came to this: (Juvenile sounding as this may be) we have 3 girls age three, five and seven so this book is read quite a bit. It occurred to me that if you have lived in something all your life, or a good part of your life, you get to where you are “desensitized” to anything else. If you’ve lived so long in the bad, you can’t see the good, you can’t try because you’ve never been told you could. You can’t do because you’ve never done. The Back Door works because they say “try it, try it and you may” They give the power back to you. They allow you to see that you may like something different. They stick with you like Sam until you see that you may like it. This works because they don’t lose hope in you as a person. They not only believe you can change, but they believe you will see that you can change.
And to that I say:
“I do so like green eggs and ham, Thank you! Thank you! Sam I am”
Fast Forward to 2019…
One of the most important people in my life recently gave me a profound gift. It was a white moleskin journal with the following Dr Seuss quote on the front:
” You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Excerpted from: OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO, … over the years The Doorway has had several copies of this book in our library and as gifts to inspire reassurance and courage.
It was thoughtfully chosen for my use as a reminder that as life moves forward past my 30+ years participating in this powerful opportunity to inspire young people with hope and belief in their capability to take their lives forward, I can rely on the same richness I know already to inspire and ground what comes next.
Young to old, for all of us, the truth remains. We are as powerful as we choose to be in thinking and planning and making choices to create our days and shape our lives. Thank you to Dr. Seuss for inspiring a world of belief in telling stories that bring perspective and encouragement to believe in ourselves