On March 2, upon celebrating “Read Across America,” and Dr. Seuss’s birthday, I was reminded of my favorite quote by Dr. Seuss.
In the famous quote, he said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
There are many concepts a person can take away from such a simple, yet profound statement, but for me it runs deeper. When I was younger, I was painfully shy.
When I was headed to college and away from home for the first time, I did not know how I was going to be able to make it through, especially with community bathrooms and close-knit dorm living. My sister gave me advice that has stuck with me ever since and reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s quote. She told me that I shouldn’t be afraid of what anyone thinks because everyone is too concerned with themselves.
As I entered freshman year, I tried to live as though no one minded what I was doing because, like my sister said, they were thinking the same thing I was. The advice worked and I broke through my shell throughout the years.
Now, I am no longer shy and feel no reservations about the things I can accomplish. As I am growing emotionally, it seems the people watching my every move are increasing as well. I try to put them in the back of my mind and focus on myself, but living in a “fishbowl-type” atmosphere, as a leader on campus and as a resident assistant, I am constantly being judged and supervised.
I have nothing to hide in my academic and social life as a college student, but the idea of people caring about what I am doing is a new concept for me.
As I followed my sister’s advice and was growing out of my shyness, I tried to forget about certain people who will always judge and criticize others. Being supervised in both my academic and social life, I realized my sister’s advice can only be taken so far. Instead, I needed to lean toward Dr. Seuss’s philosophy. If someone does mind, and there will always be people who do, they don’t matter.
For this issue, I got a chance to look deeper into the story of two students who survived the Seton Hall fire in 2000. One part that stuck with me was the bravery and confidence the two men had after the fire. Despite being physically changed and scarred for the rest of their lives, they moved on and moved forward. It seems they were able to truly follow the Seuss philosophy. Their families, friends and anyone who truly matters do not mind.
This newspaper, particularly my editor’s column, has given me the opportunity to say what I feel. At first, I thought my ideas and opinions may be criticized or judged, but then I realized I shouldn’t censor myself because of that.
People are different and they need to express their opinions and be themselves. Without diversity, the world would be a very boring place.
When I run into people who do criticize or have judgmental opinions, I have learned to try and just brush them off. The way I think about it, and the way the Seton Hall students and Dr. Seuss think about it, is that those people simply don’t matter. They will not be the ones who stick around in your life and they will not provide the positive atmosphere people need.
Too often I am surrounded by people with negative attitudes, and what my friend likes to call “wet blankets.” What she means, I’ve gathered, is that certain people do not follow Seuss’s philosophy and have an attitude that weighs you down. If you are constantly around those “wet blankets,” their attitudes will eventually rub off on you. It’s inevitable that you will conform to the negativity.
I would consider myself a pretty optimistic person with a positive outlook on life, but in order to successfully continue that, I’ve realized I need surround myself with those who have similar outlooks.
It may seem overtly optimistic, but if the Grinch can change, I think everyone has a chance.