Dr. Seuss is to blame

I love to read.

I managed to develop critical thinking skills, despite the influence of certain conservative-backwoods-redneck elements of my hometown. This is in no small part to the heroic efforts of teachers who introduced me to great literature.

Dr. Seuss is to blame.reading

My earliest introduction was to that lovable renegade, Dr. Seuss. I didn’t realize how influential Seuss had been until I started reading his books to my own children. The moral lessons are disguised by creative wit. As a child I had no idea how subversive and counter-culture Seuss books were from my environment. Looking back, I am grateful for the entertaining indoctrination.

“That’s nice,” you’re thinking, “but what does it have to do with headache disorders?”

Protected from stigma.

Glad you asked! It has everything to do with them. Had I not been gently fed tasty morsels of critical thinking, I might have believed any one of a thousand stigmatizing messages about migraine. They would have been so easy to internalize. Seuss (among others) protected my developing sense of self by helping me to recognize that:

  • Experience and research teach us something valuable
  • No one can know it all.
  • I am unique and special just because I exist.
  • Differences are a good thing.
  • Things can change if you try hard enough.
  • Hard times happen. Hit back.
  • I’m the only one who can change my life.
  • Trying new things, even if you don’t like them, is a good strategy.
  • Everyone (doctors, bosses, in-laws, etc.) is full of it sometimes.

Reading Dr. Seuss books did a lot more than teach me how to read. It laid the foundation that taught me how to think for myself, ignore my detractors, fight through the hard times, and create a life of my own making.

Here’s a dose of Seuss for you.

So if you’re struggling today with the pain of migraine or other headache disorders, I’d like to leave you with some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes. I hope they inspire you to keep fighting for better treatments, protect you from stigma, and give you hope that life will get better.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you.”

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

“You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.”

“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.”

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up, if only you try!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn!”

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

“In the house, and on the street how many, many feet you meet.”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

“We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!” 

Now pick your favorite Seuss quote and guess the book it’s from.


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