Posted: February 10th, 2021- Michele, the Farm Artist
Thinking about this idea of a living planet, the children’s book, Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss came to mind. In the story, Horton, an elephant, realizes that there’s a community of small beings living on a speck of dust. When doubt and mistrust challenges the continued existence of the Who’s, Horton experiences an overwhelming need to become their protector because after all,
I’ve thought about this book a lot because I worked for a family literacy organization for several years. We used children’s books to build literacy skills with children and adults in a variety of settings. One really unique aspect of the work was using children’s literature as a way to encourage conversation about real life by connecting with characters and themes in those stories. Horton Hears a Who speaks to the role that people of any age can play as protectors in the real world. Protectors of all living things including the who’s and the what’s, and everything in-between.
I love how this story begins with Horton enjoying his day, a splash in his private bathtub. Then in a moment something happens and a decision is made to take on a responsibility that in the end far exceeds what he signed up for. There seemed to be no hesitation, no pros and cons list, no other choice then to save that speck. His tenacity and spirit of “do right” are qualities we must nurture in ourselves as we journey on this planet and bring about what the world needs to be healthy.
Seuss. 1954. Horton hears a Who. Random House, New York. unpaged.