What I believe Dr.Seuss was trying to tell us in “Oh The Places You’ll Go”

I am pretty sure we have all read “The Cat In the Hat” or maybe even “Hop on Pop” by the famous


 Dr. Seuss. But have you ever really thought the books could relate to you? If you are like me you think it is


 just a book to teach your child how to read. But if you look closely at the book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, 


you can clearly see that he is not talking to the children, but to the adult reader.


You can go to places like Books-a-million around graduation and see the advertisement, “It is a great gift for


graduation”. But if you are like me, your thinking what could this book possibly give to a high school or


college graduate? Something to collect dust on their shelf? or a gag gift that they will donate to the


Goodwill? But don’t disregard this book yet in between the pages of this book is some of the best


information you will every come across.  Let me break this book down into what I think Seuss is trying to


tell us.



Girl Jones Translation


Today is   your day.

You’re   off to Great Places!

You’re   off and away

This   first part is obvious

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 guy who’ll decide where to go.

You are   intelligent, you have been

Given   the ability to think for yourself

 and go anywhere you please to go.

You’ll   look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.

About   some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”

With   your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, 

you’re   too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

You will   see things that you know that are not in your moral character. Drugs, sex,   and fast living, but since you are intelligent you will stay away from those   things because it just don’t feel good in the pit of your stomach.

And you   may not find any

you’ll   want to go down.

In that   case, of course,

you’ll   head straight out of town.

You may   not see an opportunity here for you, in your current location. But that is   okay,  you may decide that you want to   leave for better opportunities in another city.

It’s   opener there

in the   wide open air.

It’s   bigger and now you can breathe without some many people watching your ever   step.

Out   there things can happen

and   frequently do

to   people as brainy

and   footsy as you.

You   start finding opportunities for advancement.




And then   things start to happen,

don’t   worry. Don’t stew.

Just go   right along.

You’ll   start happening too.

But, the   opportunity may not always be for you. So just sit and wait for another   opportunity to come through.




You’ll   be on y our way up!

You’ll   be seeing great sights!

You’ll   join the high fliers

who soar   to high heights.

You   found and opportunity for you and now you are working your way up. New things   great adventures, people who has been there longer.

You   won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.

You’ll   pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.

Wherever   you fly, you’ll be best of the best.

Wherever   you go, you will top all the rest.

Because   you are prepared you will have the chance to past the rest and be the best at   what you do.

Except   when you don’t.

Because,   sometimes, you won’t.

Sometimes,   you do not win them all.

I’m   sorry to say so

but,   sadly, it’s true

that   Bang-ups

and   Hang-ups

can   happen to you.


No   matter how prepared you may be, life can come in and make you want to quit.

You can   get all hung up

in a   prickle-ly perch.

And your   gang will fly on.

You’ll   be left in a Lurch.

You can   hit hard times and your so called friends can move on and leave you there.

You’ll   come down from the Lurch

with an   unpleasant bump.

And the   chances are, then,

that   you’ll be in a Slump.

When you   fall and have your ego wounded, you will be in a low point of your life   sometimes depression comes in and try and take over.

And when   you’re in a Slump,

you’re   not in for much fun.

Un-slumping   yourself

is not   easily done.

When you   are wounded or depressed. It is not easy to pull yourself up and continue   with life.

You will   come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some   windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.

A place   you could sprain both your elbow and chin!

Do you   dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?

How much   can you lose? How much can you win?

You   contemplate if what you want in life is worth it anymore. There is not light   at the end of the tunnel, you been down so long you forget how to walk. But,   do you stay there or do you find your way out?

And IF   you go in, should you turn left or right…

or   right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go   around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple   it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,

for a   mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

When you   decide to make a move, which way do you go? This is very hard for you to   decide.

You can   get so confused

that   you’ll start in to race

down   long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and   grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,

headed,   I fear, toward a most useless place.

The   Waiting Place…

When you   choose a path, it is not always the path you need to take you back to where   you were. Sometime the path takes you a little further down than expected. To   the place where so many people get stuck in.

…for   people just waiting.

Waiting   for a train to go

or a bus   to come, or a plane to go

or the   mail to come, or the rain to go

or the   phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or the   waiting around for a Yes or No

or   waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone   is just waiting.


Waiting   for the fish to bite

or   waiting for the wind to fly a kite

or   waiting around for Friday night

or   waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot   to boil, or a Better Break

or a   string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig   with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone   is just waiting.







You are   now where you just sit and wait for someone else to give you direction.   Waiting on the call from that job, waiting on a significant other, waiting on   a miracle, you are just sitting there with your hands folded in your lap   looking around.


That’s   not for you!


Somehow   you’ll escape

all that   waiting and staying

You’ll   find the bright places

where   Boom Bands are playing.


With   banner flip-flapping,

once   more you’ll ride high!

Ready   for anything under the sky.

Ready   because you’re that kind of a guy!



This is   not a place for an intelligent person like you.

You will   escape this dark place called uncertainty and depression. You will find some   happiness again, where there is support and understanding. This will make you   rise and stand on your feet and stick your chest out further because you know   the only place from the bottom you can go is UP.

Oh, the   places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!

There   are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

And the   magical things you can do with that ball

will   make you the winning-est winner of all.

Fame!   You’ll be as famous as famous can be,

with the   whole wide world watching you win on TV.

The   places you can go now, because you have a new outlook on life. You can do   anything that you set your heart to. You may even become famous with an   audience.

Except   when they don’t

Because,   sometimes they won’t.


I’m   afraid that some times

you’ll   play lonely games too.

Games   you can’t win

’cause   you’ll play against you.

Sometime   you will have to defeat your inner demons you can be your biggest critic   sometime.

All   Alone!

Whether   you like it or not,

Alone   will be something

you’ll   be quite a lot.



You will   be by yourself, because people are focused on their lives and not worried   about anyone else. You will need to learn to love your own company.

And when   you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

you’ll   meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There   are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can   scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

When you   are forced to be alone with yourself, you will come to terms of who you   really are. This may scare you, but this is the real you and you need to   accept it.  In order to get to the next   level in your life.

But on   you will go

though   the weather be foul.

On you   will go

though   your enemies prowl.

On you   will go

though   the Hakken-Kraks howl.

Onward   up many

a   frightening creek,

though   your arms may get sore

and your   sneakers may leak.


On and   on you will hike,

And I   know you’ll hike far

and face   up to your problems

whatever   they are.


But,   since you are strong are you have the faith on your side. You will continue   through this rough ride of life. Even if your are emotionally and mentally   drained, you will continue to face all the obstacles in your way and defeat   them.

You’ll   get mixed up, of course,

as you   already know.

You’ll   get mixed up 

with   many strange birds as you go.

So be   sure when you step.

Step   with care and great tact

and   remember that Life’s 

a Great   Balancing Act.

Just   never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And   never mix up your right foot with your left.

You will   run into danger, you may even do some unquestionable things. Some of the   people in your life at that time may not be the best friends for you. But   break yourself away from them as gently as possible. Never forget to be   graceful and quick in your movements.

And will   you succeed?

Yes! You   will, indeed!

(98 and   3/4 percent guaranteed.)





be your   name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or   Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

You’re   off the Great Places!

Today is   your day!

Your   mountain is waiting.

So…get   on your way!

Remember   these things that I have told you in this book and you will succeed.  So, just do not stand there looking get out   there and on your way to a new chapter in your life.


I have translated this  I believe to what I think he was trying to tell us.  But, I think we can all agree


that through out this journey we call life we have fallen and scrapped our knee more than once. But


with encouraging words and faith we are able to stand and keep on moving.  I believe everyone can


relate to this book even if it is written by a man who wrote a book about a “Cat In a Hat”.


In conclusion, I recommend this as gift to a graduating student, but why wait until graduation, read


this to your child at least once a week. Heck read It for yourself.



  1. […] What I believe Dr.Seuss was trying to tell us in "Oh The Places You'll Go". […]

  2. Sorry, there may be some grammatical errors.

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