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This I Believe: I Believe in Dr. Seuss

Emma Gries midshot
Emma Gries
Emma Gries - Prospect High School

The Cat in the Hat ,  Green Eggs and Ham , and most importantly,  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  I believe three Dr. Seuss books have taught me the most valuable lessons in life: to challenge the rules, to try new thing, and to seize life’s opportunities.

To challenge the rules may seem like a less than ideal lesson to teach a kid, but  The Cat in the Hat  expresses this idea in a goofy way by having The Cat in the Hat go about breaking the rules but cleaning up after himself in the end. This taught me that I am allowed to challenge other people’s regulations and thoughts, but not to the point of being disrespectful. I’m a stubborn person, which frequently leads me to challenge others, most commonly my parents. The number one difference in thinking that my parents and I have is when my curfew should be. They say “midnight,” I say “hmm let’s make it a little later!” I’m continually challenging this rule; I like to tell my parents that I’m here for a good time, not a long time, so let’s stay out later and enjoy our time.       

To be willing to try new things is the idea behind  Green Eggs and Ham.  In the book, Sam I Am tries to convince the narrator to try green eggs and ham. The narrator refuses until he eventually agrees and ends up loving them. This teaches the idea that people should always try new things because they may end up liking them. My grandpa is one to stress this idea. This past winter I traveled to France and Switzerland with my grandpa and cousin, Margaret. Our only rule on the trip was that we had to try everything. If we didn’t like it, then we didn’t like it; there are no consequences in trying. If you know me, you know I’m the pickiest eater, but I ended up trying plenty of new foods and shockingly enough, I liked some of them! My favorite ended up being escargot, which took the most squirming for me to try. This experience put me in the place of the narrator in  Green Eggs and Ham and proved to me that I’ll never know if I like something new until I try it.    

When I was born, my dad gave me my first book,  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  This Dr. Seuss classic teaches kids to seize life’s opportunities and to make the most out of their ups and downs. My favorite line from this book is, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!” I’ll always remember the day I told my dad that I finally figured out what my mountain is going to be. It was a time when everyone was always asking me what I plan on doing when I’m older, and until a couple of months ago, I had no answer. I told him I want to help make people’s lives better; he asked me how; so, I said through researching the human brain. The mountain I’ll move is one that provides a breakthrough in neuroscience research, and thanks to Dr. Seuss I know it’s 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed that I’ll succeed. All in all, I believe these three Dr. Seuss books have provided me the lessons I need to succeed in life. I thank Dr. Seuss, and my dad for the first book, for teaching me the things no lesson in school could ever have.

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This I Believe Illinois is an essay program for high school seniors to share their perspectives as they prepare to enter adulthood.  Each year, a panel selcts ten submitted essays to be recorded by their authors for broadcast on NPR Illinois.  Since 2007, the selected authors also deliver their essays at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise where the students receive scholarships from the organization.

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