dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rudolph meets Dr. Seuss: ‘Be Who You Are’

On November 12, I wrote a blog post about an amazing quote I found on the back of a necklace in an art store. I promised I would write another post about a second quote I was moved by.. and I will do that now. (You can read the first post and get up to speed by clicking here: Make Your Life a Fantastic Ride! )

When I finished copying the quote on the first necklace and replaced it on the rack, I was drawn to a second one. I can’t even remember what the vintage photo looked like. But when I turned it over and read the back, I couldn’t wait to write down the quote so I wouldn’t forget the words:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, 
because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind.”
I was totally amazed to find out who spoke those words... Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss was an American poet and writer who is renowned for his much loved children’s books, including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham”,  and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” among his 46 titles.

There’s a whole lot of power in that statement! You have to be honest about who you are, don’t hide your inner essence, face up to society and don’t worry about what anyone says because those who really love you will accept and support your true self. Never compromise!

Since we are in the holiday season, it made me think of one particular example: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In the famous song from 1949 and in the 1964 animated TV movie, he is mocked and ostracized for his unusual glowing red nose. The other reindeer won’t have anything to do with him and in the movie, even his parents are ashamed and try to hide his nose. Eventually Rudolph realizes he can’t avoid being who he is and he runs away. He meets Hermey the elf is also running away because the other elves won’t let him become who he wants to be; he doesn’t like making toys for Santa and instead wants to be a dentist. Like Rudolph, he won’t settle for being pushed aside as a misfit, so they make a pact to accept and support each other and head off on a journey into the unknown.

After they have a wild adventure, they return home and find that those who shunned and made fun of them are feeling sorry for their actions. The elves allow Hermey to open a dentist office, finally honoring his desire to be different and acknowledging that he really has a role among Santa's elves after all.

Rudolph becomes a hero when Santa realizes his unique glowing red nose can light the way through the foggy Christmas Eve which would otherwise keep his sleigh grounded. 

Hermey and Rudolph didn’t allow a disapproving society - even their own families! -  to force them to change into what they were expected to be. Although they did struggle with being confident in who they are at the beginning of the story, they stayed true to themselves and supported each other in their journey to self-actualization.

In preparing to write this piece, I did a little research on Dr. Seuss and discovered another statement he made which connects to the top quote and so eloquently wraps up this blog post: 

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”


  1. Shannon, this is such a great post! And the last quote is perfect! ~~Priscilla


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