Oh, the places you’ll go!

Roxy and I were talking about the dark places.  And how unexpected and debilitating they can be.  And she sent me this.  And I cried and cried.  Which was a good thing.  Not least becaus once again Dr. Seuss makes more sense than the professionals. 

So thanks Roxy.   

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
By Dr. Seuss

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!

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’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.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do, to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

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 the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t. Because sometimes you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. 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’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

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?

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.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race, down long wiggled roads at break-necking pace, and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, or a plane to go, or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow, or 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 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.

NO! 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!

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 famous as famous can be, with the whole world watching you win on TV.

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.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not, alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot. 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.

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.

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 Big Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and delft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ guaranteed.)


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18 thoughts on “Oh, the places you’ll go!

  1. Rob says:

    If it works, it’s m-ah-velous. Sending you some “cyber” light for the dark places.

  2. nursemyra says:

    Oh I’ve never read that before – it’s wonderful! Are we holidaying together somewhere in July? Let’s be brainy and footsy and have fun xx

  3. daisyfae says:

    i adore this. “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” has become a solid graduation gift for 18 year olds here in the US. and i’ve been known to give it as birthday gifts to folks turning 50, too…

    let’s go find some Boom Bands, shall we?

  4. Oh, that damn Waiting Place!

  5. tNb says:

    Dr. Seuss is just what I needed to read today, just the push I needed to navigate this Great Big Balancing Act.

    Brilliant 🙂

  6. kono says:

    I’ve been writing about Dr. Suess for years and next week is Theodore Giesel’s birthday by the way, if fact if you asked me to pick a favorite i couldn’t,(The Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who) the man was the last true American literary genius and i’ll argue that till i’m blue in the face, now regards to this story, i used to read it to the I-Mac almost every night for back when he was 2ish or so and my favorite part was when i read the boom bands line he would immediately laugh and say “booom bands”, shit makes me smile just to think about it.

    • Dolce says:

      Kids know. They know all about being footsy and stomping to the boom bands. We lose our way when the grownups tell us to behave, sit down, shut up. And we get smaller. Dr. Seuss doesn’t care about small. Or big. He’s all about how well you stomp.

  7. Seraphine says:

    being in a dark place is awful. mostly, i try not to think about “it” (whatever the dark place is) and that helps.


    dr. seuss is great. i also recommend music.

  8. timkeen40 says:

    I have been very fortunate to find my way here. Dr. Suess is awesome.


  9. robinaltman says:

    Oh, I forgot how lovely this book is! I’m going to give it to my son when he graduates. He’ll act all cool and maybe roll his eyes a bit for his friends’ benefit, but I think he’ll read it and smile – when nobody is looking, of course.

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