Marie Roker-Jones shares some of the life lessons found in ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and the importance of being open to learning and trying new things.
My sons and I are big Dr. Seuss fans and have shared many wonderful nights reading treasured favorites such as The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, If I Ran the Zoo and Green Eggs and Ham. While our reading pastime has given us quality time together, I hadn’t given thought to some of the life lessons we can learn from these books. Recently, as I read Green Eggs and Ham with my 3-year-old, I thought of all the things he could learn from the tenacious and persuasive Sam-I-Am.
1. Be Proud of Your Name
Right at the beginning, Sam I Am lets us know his full name. When meeting people in a formal setting, state your full name. Your name is your is your legacy. I taught my teen son 3 simple rules for meeting people: 1. Make eye contact. 2. Give a firm handshake. 3. Always state your full name.
2. Haters are Insignificant
The other guy in Green Eggs and Ham doesn’t even have a name, yet he lets us know right away that he does not like Sam I Am. We don’t know his name because he is not important. He doesn’t give any explanation as to why he hates Sam I Am. That guy represents people in the world who will hate on your ideas, your creativity, your fearlessness, your tenacity, and anything else they can hate. Ignore the haters.
3. Stay Focused and Be Patient
Honestly, I probably would have given up on that guy after the 4th attempt, but not Sam-I -Am. He is patient. He so believes in his creation: green eggs and ham that he is willing to wait. He knows eventually he’ll win him over. It’s just a matter of time. Sam-I-Am had one goal: To get that guy to try green eggs and ham. He never deviated from the goal. He stuck to his plan. We tend to get excited about our idea and start to lose focus and excitement when things start getting difficult. Stick to your plan!
4. Be Optimistic
Sam-I-Am didn’t get discouraged for 60 pages of trying to convince one guy to try green eggs and ham. He never seemed to grow tired of that guy refusing and rebuking him. He never got discouraged or complacent. He remained enthusiastic and positive.
5. Have an Open Mind
Be creative and stay open to new ideas. The unnamed character assumes he will not like something he’s never even tried. He doesn’t even think about trying something new. There’s something new to experience in life every day, if you’re open to it.
6. Be Inquisitive
Sam-I-Am wants to know why this unnamed guy doesn’t want to eat green eggs and ham. He asks questions to find out what would get him to try it. It’s good to be inquisitive in life. Don’t take everything at face value. Find out why, when, how, what, where.
7. Try Different Approaches
Don’t get stuck in old ideas and ways of doing things. It finally pays off for Sam-I-Am. The unnamed character gives in and tries green eggs and ham. In life, we need to not give up so quickly because of challenges or adversity. You never know when the tide will turn.
What have you learned from Green Eggs and Ham or other Dr. Seuss books?
This post originally appeared at Raising Great Men.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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