A mother reading a book to her son in a waiting room

Oh, the Places I’ve Gone!

A tropical plant stood in the corner by a small table and a stack of books. I grabbed the most colorful story in the pile and ran back to my mother. We settled into the hard, plastic chairs and waited for the receptionist to call us back for my doctor visit. I was playing baseball that year and needed a physical.

“This is a good one,” she said, and read the title. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. She turned the page and read a story that told me I would do something great in life. And I believed every word of it.

Years later, I look back and wonder if that book has come true. Honestly, my life is pretty normal. I’ve got a great job and family. We go on vacations and do fun things, but life isn’t quite as fantastic as the book made it out to be. There are real challenges. My daughter almost died from an asthma attack. I’ve had people steal from me, dent my car in the parking lot, and throw mud at my house – the last one was teenagers messing around, but you get the idea.

Life isn’t always the colorful vistas that Dr. Seuss promised us.

And then I realized that he was right. I have seen the weird and wild. I’ve stepped through magical wardrobes into frozen wonderlands. I’ve survived at sea, soared through the sky on broomsticks, and walked the roads of Athens with Socrates. I’ve played hockey in Beartown, built a cabin in the woods so that I might live deliberately, and I’ve danced with the devil. I’ve fought a large marlin at sea only to have it eaten by a mako shark, found my self-reliance in lecture halls with Emerson, and I’ve solved murder mysteries on The Nile River. I’ve drank champagne with Gatsby, hidden from Nazi patrols in a secret room behind a bookcase, and sailed the wild oceans with Long John Silver.

I guess Seuss got it right. I have seen the world.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.


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