I am a member of a certain group of the population that was able to experience the golden age of after school television. For years, we would rush home to see amazing cartoons like Ducktales, She-Ra, and G.I. Joe. We learned valuable lessons about safety and stranger danger from after school specials like Andrea’s Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy. We learned about American history, how bills are created, and even the preamble to the Constitution from School House Rock. But the most important thing, in my humble opinion, that we all learned was the value of a book and how reading could change your life.
On Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton and a host of celebrity guests (who narrated the stories of the books coming to life) taught us that we could be anything, we could go anywhere all because of the words inside of books.
Some of these books provided entertainment, others provided much needed life lessons. Below are 10 Children’s Books that Taught Us Everything We Need to Know in Life:
Lesson learned: You are a selfish a-hole. There are people all around you willing to give you their last and you are too busy with your own life to notice the sacrifice. Get your act together and show the people who love you that their love and attention are valued, even when it seems like you aren’t paying attention.
Lesson learned: Confidence and the belief in yourself can take you pretty much anywhere. Even if you don’t really have talent. If you can make people believe what you believe… you’re in. Ego development is huge for success. I know I’m telling the truth. Look at who is running the country right now.
Lesson learned: Be mindful of the things you put in your mouth.
Lesson learned: Karma is a really hateful wench. Disrespect and bad behavior will come back to you in the most unexpected ways. Sometimes she sneaks up on you and pushes you down some stairs, other times she terrorizes your kids in the classroom. Stay woke.
Lesson learned: Sometimes life gets hard and you want to escape. Utilize your escape time wisely as an excessively turned up wild rumpus could lead to all sorts of shenanigans in your life. The hangover will be so vicious that you’ll wake up wanting to make significant changes in your life and wondering how the hell you are going to get home… and if they even want you when you get back.
6. The Lorax
Lesson learned: In 1971, Dr. Seuss wrote the book with a tiny little creature who was likely a hippy who really loved “trees” to warn us all to get out acts together. Now, almost 5 decades later, look at where we are. Wildlife conservation is important. Climate change is real. No matter how small you feel in the fight: Speak up. Be loud. Protect it.
Lesson learned: Never trust a guy who shows up at your house uninvited. Look at that guy. Have you ever seen a more untrustworthy looking creature? Stranger danger is real and The Cat is a whole creep. He probably pulled up to the house in an Econovan with black out windows and puppies in the back.
Lesson learned: If a jumpy little person with a very odd street name offers you something that you don’t trust, it’s perfectly fine to decline and walk away. However, Dr. Seuss taught us all how to wear a person down. Sam-I-Am heard all sorts of reasons as to why his drug of choice wasn’t a good idea but he persisted. And in the end, he got a customer for life.
Lesson learned: There will come a time in your life when a supervisor or team lead will dump all of their work in your lap. You will have no choice but to finish it. It will be an uphill battle to both get the work done and not strangle your superior for taking advantage of you but stay the course friend; happy hour comes sooner than you think.
10. The Wizard of Oz
Lesson learned: Squad goals. Always have a team of people around you that will support you, protect you, and, if needed, take all of your enemies out without discussion.
Featured image via PBS Kids/em>