Today in Church there was an interesting talk about the Dr. Seuss book, “The Sneetches.” I love Dr. Seuss, even though some think he should be banned, I do not think so, and actually think the opposite. His books have a way of teaching a lesson or principle in a fun way, that’s easy to understand, even to a child. I couldn’t remember this book, and I didn’t have it on my shelves, so I looked it up online, and there was a short movie made out of the book. Here is the book cover, and you can click on the book to watch the movie. It’s a little over 12 minutes long.

Having watched the movie I have had a number of different thoughts. I think this book could apply to so many different situations that are currently happening all over the world at this time. But my thoughts as I watched this movie centered around following the crowd, for the sake of following the crowd, of fitting in and being accepted. We all want to fit somewhere. There is nothing wrong with that, and there are so many different places and opportunities to do so. But how often do we see someone else doing one thing, that doesn’t fit with our groups paradigm, and we suddenly think poorly of that person. We judge, and sometimes ridicule or condemn someone for thinking or believing differently than we do.

It’s interesting to me, I worked in the school system for a while, and there is so much talk and teaching about how to stop bullying, how to be kind, how to include and not be a bully. Time invested on the part of the teachers, the support staff, the principal. But yet we grow up, and now there is no teacher standing over our shoulder, and we forget that we should be kind, that we should include people in our groups. Or if nothing else, we should at least not judge. Let people be who they are. But that isn’t what has or is happening, especially recently. Children should be able to look at the adults to see how to act properly, and yet, the good examples are diminishing.

It is super easy to get caught up in the excitement of a situation, or the negativity, especially when we want to be included in the group, or want to appear a certain way to the world around us. There is a thrill in the hype and excitement around any event, good or bad, that can be contagious. Good hype, around good organizations and situations is exhilarating and propels us forward to do more good. Good situations fill us, and we seek out ways to not only continue to be filled, but with good situations, we begin seeking out ways to help others feel full as well. Hype around a bad organization or situation can be just as exhilarating in the moment. But it never propels us to good, to wholesome, filling activities. It can never fill us, but usually leaves us feeling empty when it’s over, looking for that next situation that is exhilarating again, but looking for it in all the wrong places.

How do we tell if the situation we are getting into is a good one, one that will be inclusive and uplifting? We have to do the research. If you look up any organization on the internet you will find exactly what they want you to see, and it’s always going to have a positive spin on it. But to truly see what kind of situation it is, look at the fruits, the outcomes of other similar situations, especially concerning that organization. Look at the community building things done, or in some cases, the destruction left behind. Talk to real people who have seen either outcome. Go into any situation with your eyes wide open and your mind clear so that you can see things as they really are. Pay attention to your conscience, to what you know to be right, and stay true to who you are. And if you can’t find anyone, start by inviting and including others into your life. Do good and it will draw others to you. Be kind, and people will want to be around you, whether you have a star on your belly or not.

What did you learn from watching/reading this book by Dr. Seuss? How are you applying it to your life and your mind? I would love to hear your thoughts.