It has taken us Templetons a very long time to aspire to be slow dwellers – living more deliberately and sustainably, with a mind toward fairness, connectedness and pleasure – but the idea is not new. In fact, there are many great historians (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thorough to name just a few inspirational thinkers) who have tipped us off to this type of lifestyle. In my mind, though, one of the greatest slow dwellers was Dr. Seuss.
I have often caught myself reading Dr. Seuss to my kids, pondering over the timeless wisdom woven into his clever stories. I wish I had come to appreciate that wisdom much earlier in life. And I truly wonder how anyone who grows up reading Dr. Seuss could be anything but a well-rounded, truly centered individual. In fact, I think that Yertle the Turtle should be mandatory reading for every corporate exec, because this simple story about an ambitious turtle trying to literally reach great heights at the expense of the peon turtles he stands on is so profound that it is impossible not to see so many analogs to life.
And, I think everyone who hasn’t done so recently ought to read Horton Hatches the Egg. It’s a a lesser known Dr. Seuss story, but I think it is one of the most subtly profound and intensely moving. Horton is a true slow dweller and overall rock-star elephant, and the universe rewards him for it at the end, just as it SHOULD be.
And, here are some of very my favorite slow dwelling Dr. Seuss quotes. Enjoy!
- “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
- “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
- “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
- “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
- “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
- “And the turtles, of course…all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”
- “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”
- “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
- “How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
- “And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that! Because Horton was faithful! He sat and he sat!”
- Be yourself because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”
- “The word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
- “You ought to be thankful a hole heaping lot, for The places and people you’re lucky you’re not!”
- “Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person no matter how small.”
- “I said what I meant and I meant what I said.”
- “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”