Monday, March 2, 2009

Hold Fast Your Dreams

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Thank You for
Sharing Your Speech in My Book


A few years ago I published a collection of commencement addresses, given by well-known Americans, HOLD FAST YOUR DREAMS. From time to time, I reread some of their advice. Often this trip down memory lane brings me to consider the enjoyment I experienced in working on this compilation of wonderful speeches. Today’s review of the book found me looking for comments and wisdom that might address my current passion, that of living more green and eating healthier.

While most of what I found can only be loosely linked to my new passion, I found much good advice on tackling my new endeavor. I hope you will patronize me while I offer a few examples of the wisdom I found in these words.

Gloria Steinem, the ultimate, influential feminist, suggested that “whatever you want to do, just do it. Do not worry about making a fool of yourself.” I contemplated this and decided that I did just do it, and I most certainly am making a fool of myself—sometimes--or at least, according to my kids.

Carl Sagan’s advice was similar, in that he insisted that “the urgency you feel to make change is just the extent that change will be made. Do not sit this one out. Do not play it safe”. I am sure that, as one of the word’s most well-known Astronomers, he took his own advice.

After reminding her audience that there are no free lunches, Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, advised them to “Listen for the sound of the genuine within [themselves].” How poignant is that?!

Cartoonist, Cathy Guisewite, had several thoughts which particularly struck home with me. Let’s see what you think:

· “Give up the quest for perfection and just shoot for 5 good minutes in a row.”

· “If you want something to change, do something different.”

· “Allow yourself to regraduate every 4 years”, in other words, reevaluate and remake your life to suit the changes that need to be made.

You will probably not be surprised to hear that Ralph Nader’s suggestions involved a term he coined as citizen work, which is essentially social action and volunteering. I felt proud to have joined the Care2 network, and to have started a campaign for dog owners to Adopt a Dog Park.

Grammy award winning musician, Billy Joel, ended his remarks by profoundly stating, “Welcome to the fire. Now it’s your turn to hold the hose.”

Finally, I will leave you with the entire speech given by one of the most famous children’s authors of all time, Dr. Seuss:

My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers

My uncle ordered popovers
From the restaurant’s bill of fare,
And, when they were served,
he regarded them with a penetrating stare…
Then he spoke great Words of Widsom
As he sat there on that chair:
“To eat these things,” said myuncle,
“You must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what’s solid…
BUT…you must spit out the air!”

AND…as you partake of the world’s bill of fare,
that’s darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow.



Final notes: Ironically, today is Dr. Seuss's birthday. How fitting it is that I chose his speech to highlight. I hope you enjoyed it, and it makes you think a bit. By the way, HOLD FAST YOUR DREAMS was nominated for the American Library Association's Best Book for Young Adults award.

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Tomorrow is a very special post here at Organic Journey Online. Please join me for a video presentation on the devastating effects of a banned pesticide on banana workers in Nicaragua. I am airing this documentary to spread awareness. Grab your tissues and stop in.

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