Horton the Philosopher

Antonia - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in children’s books. More specifically, I believe in Dr. Seuss’s Horton the Elephant.

For one thing, I believe reading is essential in exploring new worlds, and new points of view, like an elephant’s! Reading also offers me a break, especially if I’m feeling upset, I’ll pick up a book that will distract me.

The second reason I believe in Horton is that he is such a great guy, he volunteers to sit on his friend Mayzie’s egg. He believes, like I do, that friends make showing up everyday worthwhile. Although granted, maybe leaving Horton to sit on her egg for fifty-one weeks wasn’t so nice of Mayzie, but Horton stuck with it. So when my friends need me, instead of me needing them, I try to return the favor, for however long they need it.

Thirdly, while Horton is sitting up there in the tree, he gets his share of storms, teasing and hunters, but he doesn’t give up or give in. At the end of the story, when Horton is allowed home with his baby elephant-bird, he’s happy he stuck with it. Likewise, I think it’s important stick with it when the bird flies the coop. For me, the easiest way to keep going is to smile at the people around me. For one thing, it cheers me up to be happy for someone else. For another, it can brighten someone else’s day. One little smile can awaken my debate coach out of her trance during hallway duty as I walk to English every day. Besides, like Horton, I want to enjoy life. Lastly, I believe in smiling because I might even meet new people that way. I smiled at our school janitor a few weeks ago, and since then, I’ve seen him around, we’ve greeted each other enthusiastically, and I even learned his name: Ohm Pa. Lighting up in a smile can make a huge difference, as well as make any plight like Horton’s egg-sitting dilemma easier to handle.

Furthermore, I believe in Horton is that he embodies childhood, and childishness. And who really thinks that we need to be less fun-loving and wacky? I think it’s pretty difficult to get too wild, which is probably why I enjoy wearing mismatched colorful knee socks so much!

And finally, my philosophy is also Horton’s philosophy: “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.” This first means that I try my best to truly follow through on what I tell people I’m going to do, although I doubt I’ll be sitting on any of Mayzie’s eggs any time soon. Also, I do my best to choose the words I use carefully, lest I inadvertently offend someone, or say something I’d rather not be remembered for.

Horton is the ideal children’s book hero for me. His value of friendship, persistence, silliness and ethics embody my beliefs, and hopefully, will live to entertain many more young and not so young readers for a long time.