fre$h air

No matter how old I am, I think there will always be a place in my heart for certain children’s books. There’s something about simple rhymes and playful but light storylines that brings me back. Certainly there are stories that resonate more with us than others, some with brilliant underlying themes. I think stories we are subconsciously compelled to at a young age reflect what we value in the world or in other people. Anyways, I feel kind of childish but one of my favorite book is The Lorax and I just rewatched the movie. The Lorax is not the first answer I would give if someone asked me what my favorite book was but it’s undeniably a story that makes up who I am.

But what prompted me to watch this movie again was a news report on BBC about families in Beijing, China who buy canned air from Canada. Kids don’t go outside to get fresh air, they go inside, wear a mask and their mothers spray fresh air into their mouth. In the movie, the antagonist is a wealthy CEO of bottled air, he’s built an empire in “Thneedville” of a plastic world. Walls around the village convince people that what lies outside is dangerous, he watches every citizen through hidden cameras, the citizens are unaware that Thneeds (trees) provides free air. This world Dr. Seuss created is insane, first published in 1971 he was able to foresee the future. It’s quite saddening more than it is mind-blowing. When I was younger all I ever thought of The Lorax was that it was fictional, no way near what the world is. But seeing this news report just proves me wrong.

I won’t go into much detail but there is a specific line in the book that says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, / Nothing is going to get better. / It’s not.” This is it. This is the line that makes The Lorax such an important book to me. It’s a line I haven’t forgot and probably never will.

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