Here we go Lorax.
As you grow up, people read stories to you. The inflections in their voice and the expressions on their face transforms words into emotions, and as a listener, it is the crux of our imagination; the ability to draw our own conclusions and stimulate our own impressions into the narrative we are given. That’s why movies are great. You get actors to read you someone’s story. We connect, and still have the freedom of determining our own feelings.
Dr. Seuss provided us with great stories, including The Lorax. After seeing it in 3D tonight, though, I’m a little bit more certain that some of the greatest stories are the ones that are never explicitly said. You have to go searching for them. If imagination taught you anything, this would be it. Never stop seeking.
It wasn’t the environmentally-charged message that struck me (the obvious things never should) it was the fact that the Once-ler lived a life of misery by choice. Yes, he made a mistake that essentially destroyed the land and all of the life that came with it. He got rich and got sad when everything ran dry and went away. He wallowed in a self-made prison cell, sitting in solitude, brooding about how he could have made things different if he can only knew better.
All the while he owned the very last seed of a tree.
This right here, is where I stop believing the narrative I’m given and instead create a new one: Why didn’t he just plant the seed himself? Why did he wait for someone to go searching for it?
By not playing the lead role in your own story, you end up becoming a secondary role in someone else’s, someone who isn’t afraid to ask questions and demand answers. The Once-ler could have redeemed himself if he had just planted the seed. He could have helped everyone, but he didn’t. He chose to not to act and to gave up responsibility for his actions both past and future by his inaction in the present. He got a sideline view for what happens when someone else has the courage to do what you were too afraid to.
And maybe here, right here, is where Dr. Seuss is at his finest. Why don’t you just pick up the pen yourself?