Did you know that March 2 is celebrated as Dr Seuss Day? Why this date? Because March 2 is the birthday of Dr Theodor Seuss Geisel, the creator of the Dr Seuss children’s book series. We thought this was one of the most interesting observances we’ve ever observed, but fitting, because Jamaican children grow up on his famous books as much as their counterparts in other regions of the world. Generations upon generations have found his witticisms and quirky illustrations amusing and instructive. So we decided to try to find parallels between some of his legendary words and ours. So here are some of the most famous things Dr Seuss said … and our proverbial Jamaican spin on them!
1. A person’s a person no matter how small.
Jamaican equivalent: Mawga cow a bull mumma (The skinny cow is the bull’s mother).
Interpretation: Don’t judge a person by their size. Respect should be accorded to all people, regardless of their stature or status.
2. Today was good, today was fun, tomorrow is another one.
Jamaican equivalent: Today fi you, tomorrow fi me (Today for you, tomorrow for me).
Interpretation: No one knows what a day will bring. Tomorrow is a mystery. By extension, be careful how you deal with people and what decisions you make, because you don’t know what will happen to you (or someone you love) in the future.
3. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
Jamaican equivalent: Tek kin teeth kibba heart-bun (Use a smile [grin] to relieve a heartburn).
Interpretation: Even in painful moments, there is still something to be grateful for and to smile about.
4. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
Jamaican equivalent: If yuh see everybody a run, tek time (If you see everyone running, take your time).
Interpretation: Don’t follow the crowd. Be true to who you are.
5. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Jamaican equivalent: Dog with too much massa sleep widout supper (A dog with too many masters will sleep without supper).
Interpretation: Don’t allow others to influence your decisions or stop you from being the most authentic version of yourself. If you are like a dog with many masters (many persons giving him orders and directing his life), you will end up without supper (without the fulfillment of a strong sense of self). By extension, the people who do not accept you for who you are not your friends.
6. If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too.
Jamaican equivalent: Every dog have him day, and every puss him four o’clock (Each dog has his day, and each cat his four o’clock).
Interpretation: Good things will happen for you. Just give it time. Keep working hard and giving it your best. Your day will come (or your four o’clock, LOL).
7. Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.
Jamaican equivalent: Manners will carry yuh roun’ the world (Manners will take you around the world) .
Interpretation: Behave yourself wisely at all times. In essence, be courteous and kind to others, because you want to be remembered and treated favourably by people.