Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age.
"Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
… and the wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones … But those were Foreign Children and it really didn’t matter …
Caption to a political cartoon against the "America First" movement, showing children being read a story of "Adolf the Wolf", in PM Magazine (1 October 1941)
You make 'em, I amuse 'em.
Statement about children, as quoted in Enter, Conversing (1962) by Clifton Fadiman, p. 108
Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.
As quoted in "Author Isn't Just a Cat in the Hat" by Miles Corwin in The Los Angeles Times (27 November 1983); also in Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004) by Philip Nel, p. 38
When at last we are sure
You’ve been properly pilled,
Then a few paper forms
Must be properly filled
So that you and your heirs
May be properly billed.
You're Only Old Once! : A Book for Obsolete Children (1986)
You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
"My friends!", cried the elephant.
"Tell me! Do tell!
Are you safe? Are you sound?
Are you whole? Are you well?"
"You're going to be roped!
And you're going to be caged!
And, as for your dust speck – hah!
That we shall boil in a hot steaming kettle of Beezle-Nut Oil!"
"Don't give up! I believe in you all.
A person's a person, no matter how small!
And you very small persons will not have to die
If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!"
"This", cried the Mayor, "is your town's darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!", he said.
"We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!"
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
"Mister!" he said with a sawdusty sneeze. "I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
And I'm asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs" –
He was very upset as he shouted and puffed –
"What's that THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?"
I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees,
Which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please!
But I'm also in charge of the brown Bar-ba-loots,
Who played in the shade in their Bar-ba-loot suits,
And happily lived, eating Truffula fruits.
Now, thanks to your hacking my trees to the ground,
There's not enough Truffula fruit to go 'round!
And my poor Bar-ba-loots are all getting the crummies
Because they have gas, and no food, in their tummies!
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
"So . . .
Catch!" calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
"It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back."
Now all that was left 'neath the bad-smelling sky
was my big empty factory...
The Lorax said nothing.
Just gave me a glance,
just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance,
as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants.
And I'll never forget the grim look on his face
when he heisted himself and took leave of this place,
through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.
And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks with the one word: UNLESS.
Whatever that meant . . . well, I just couldn't guess.
The last sentence of this statement is often misquoted as "You oughta be thankful, a whole heaping lot, / For the people and places you're lucky you're not!'"
And suppose that you lived in that forest in France
Where the average young person just hasn't a chance
To escape from the perilous pants-eating plants!
But your pants are safe! You're a fortunate guy.
And you ought to be shouting, "How lucky am I!"
Thank goodness for all the things you are not!
Thank goodness you're not something someone forgot,
and left all alone in some punkerish place
like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space.
That's why I say, "Duckie!
Don’t grumble! Don’t stew!
Some critters are much-much,
oh, ever so much-much,
so muchly much-much more unlucky than you!"
Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
Bernard Baruch in response to a question by Igor Cassini as to how he handled the seating arrangements at his dinner parties, as quoted in Shake Well Before Using: A New Collection of Impressions and Anecdotes Mostly Humorous (1948) by Bennett Cerf, p. 249; the full response was "I never bother about that. Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." This anecdote is also quoted online at Chiasmus.com. It has also become part of a larger expression, which has been commonly attributed to Dr. Seuss, even in print, but without citation of a specific work: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
You want my opinion? We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.
Robert Fulghum in True Love (1998). Versions attributed to Dr. Seuss usually run "mutual weirdness".
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
Georges Duhamel in THE HEART'S DOMAIN (1919). As it was composed in French, the wording in English may vary in translation. Theodore Geisel / Dr. Seuss was born in 1904, and would have been about 15 years old at the time that it was published. The full text can be found at the link below: We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory. Like the images the photographer plunges into a golden bath, our sentiments take on color; and only then, after that recoil and that trans-figuration, do we understand their real meaning and enjoy them in all their tranquil splendor.