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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Regardless of where I am, I am in relationship with other humans and the world we share. It is easy to take these relationships for granted. Over the years, I discovered, children and youth embrace differences more readily than adults.

Through the use of satire, made up words, and unusual characters, Theodor Geisel, better known to us as Dr. Seuss, took a stand against bullies, hypocrites, and demagogues. In this way, I think his characters depict pluralism we live in. Yes, there is no Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, or Cat in the Hat, but we can learn to appreciate and defer to their beautiful differences. Even within  differences, I find more similarities and common ground with others, a sense of community of humans.

We need this in the world we co-inhabit with other sentient and non-sentient beings. Too often, people who masquerade as leaders tell us to see difference as a problem, to exploit Nature, and to separate ourselves from our better angels. Perhaps our better angels are Thing 1 and Thing 2.

298x322 Unique Dr Seuss Images Ideas Dr Seuss Art, Dr

I retrieved the Thing 1 and Thing 2 image from Clip Art Mag.

I took this picture Sunday at the Japanese Friendship Garden. Even in the midst of an urban setting, like Phoenix, we discover spots where nature and humans co-exist in almost perfect harmony. In truth, we are never separate from nature and humans. It is only in our thoughts we are separate, somehow superior. When we are present and mindful, we recognize there are no boundaries.

Here are four of my favourite Dr. Seuss quotes:

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact.
And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

31 responses »


  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  3. Really appreciated this charming tribute to Dr. Seuss, including your favorite quotes. Fun to think of Thing 1 and Thing 2 as our better angels. Thanks, Ivon.

  4. I think it’s great to find harmony with the world and ourselves and how we all connect. And who doesn’t love a dose of Dr. Seuss? Haha. Great post!

  5. Dr, Seuss is a favorite of mine. The Grinch is a special favorite as he said, “I must find some way to keep Christmas from coming.” I read these stories to my first graders so many times!

  6. Who doesn’t love Dr Seuss 🙂

  7. Love this….and the quotes are awesome…kid relatable, and for adults too!!

  8. “Don´t cry because is over. Smile because it happened”. In a twisted way I myself have that philosophy about life. You learn.
    I only saw that Japanese garden in San Francisco, but it seems Phoenix has one up on Frisco, it is a HAPPY garden

  9. Great choice of Dr. Seuss quotes! And you were in Phoenix? Wish you’d made it down to Bisbee. We could have met for a coffee/tea.

  10. Pingback: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss — Teacher as Transformer | By the Mighty Mumford

  11. “When we are present and mindful, we recognize ther are no boundaries”, I should keep that in mind more often, I only apply it in extreme circumstances. Hence it is good since I go from 0 to 100, but is not stable.
    Great post Dr. Prefontaine, and always a pleasure to read all your other writings here in wordpress.

    • Thank you Charly. I try hard to remember the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: “we find the extraordinary in the ordinary.” It is challenging to follow that way, but, when I am present, it is rewarding.

  12. I have to catch up. I cannot believe I did not observe Dr. Seuss this year. I must video tape myself reading one of his stories to my grandchildren. I must have been too distracted with other things. I love Dr. Seuss.


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