In life, there are times when we want to do something, and we don’t do it. For example, we don’t do it because of:
- Fear: We talk ourselves out of doing something, like starting a business, due to fear of failure (or success).
- Responsibilities: Wanting or needing to take a vacation when you are mentally tired. Yet, not wanting to spend the money on it because there is a list of things needed for the family, bills, etc.
- Making some else happy: Staying in a relationship because of the guilty feelings of breaking someone’s heart. Or it is too expensive to leave.
- Someone is telling you what to do: You want to be an artist, but your parents want you to be a doctor. You want to relocate, but someone is telling you not to do it.
The last point, someone telling you what to do, is the subject I want to discuss today. It happens a lot, doesn’t it? It’s expected, as kids, we listen to our parents. As adults, we make our own choices, right? Freedom of choice. Except we often don’t, do we? Someone telling us what to do leads to the other three examples of why we don’t follow our heart.
I was thinking about the Dr. Seuss (said Soice, rhymes with voice) situation. I realized how Dr. Seuss Enterprises, owned by Penguin Random House, is an example of why you should follow your heart.
Feelings vs Facts
I previously wrote how, at one time, Dr. Seuss was racist, but he changed. That’s inspiring, isn’t it? We all make mistakes, or change how we feel about things. None of us are perfect. His books and cartoons changed. He became inclusive, wanting everyone to enjoy his creative works. Penguin Random House, the publisher of Dr. Seuss’ books, has a firm stance on being inclusive. They have an anti-racist reading list. Dr. Seuss Enterprises seems to have found the right company to publish Geisel’s books. We have the freedom to change our legacy.
Until someone tells us we can’t. Dr. Seuss Enterprises made the decision last year, to stop publishing six Dr. Seuss books. They announced it this year.
It makes sense that Penguin Random House would make the business decision to look at their catalog of works and decide what to do with them. Especially since so many Dr. Seuss movies are coming out in the future. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they remade the books they stopped publishing into movies that everyone can enjoy? That would be awesome!
Until people say Penguin Random House shouldn’t stop publishing the books, that no longer portrayed Geisel’s perspective. These are the same people that support freedom of action. For example, to not wear masks, the right to carry a gun, freedom of speech, etc. They are also the people who complain about others being offended yet, they are offended the books are not being published. These people, complaining about the books not being published, also claim they are against racism. Color doesn’t matter. They swear they aren’t racist.
Yet, they don’t support Penguin Random House’s freedom to stop publishing something they feel is racist, even though Penguin Random House made it clear they are against racism. What they claim:
- Supports freedom of choice.
- Not be racist.
- Dislikes when people get offended over other people’s choices.
How they act:
- Not support the freedom of choice for the company to stop publishing the books.
- Not support the company making the decision not to publish creative works they feel are racist.
- Are offended about a company exercising their freedom of choice.
The Conflict is Real
If you told these people they are being hypocritical, they would be offended and deny it. I proved the hypocrisy in their actions. Why do people do this?
IMO, it is because they view their feelings as facts.
In this case, they feel enjoyment from Dr. Seuss books. Because they feel enjoyment, they want the books to continue to be published. Their feelings don’t take into consideration anyone else’s feelings because they view everyone else’s feelings as opinions. If they took other people’s feelings into consideration, there wouldn’t be hypocrisy. Their actions match this scenario: they want an addict to stay an addict because they enjoyed what the addict did while under the influence. It’s the addict’s personal choice to change, or stay the same. It is their right (freedom). People might not agree with the addict’s decisions. The addict has lessons to learn just as we all do. Some learn them faster than others. Some never learn them.
People want their feelings to be validated in circumstances where they don’t matter. If I decide to be vegan or to eat meat, no one else’s opinion matters. It is my decision. If a vegan has “feelings” about me eating meat, it’s their problem not mine. If I let their “feelings” about me eating meat influence my decision, will that lead to a path of happiness for me? Most likely not. What about my freedom of choice?
When we let other people’s opinions (feelings) impact our decisions, it leads to the three reasons I stated above influencing our decisions. We start doing things for the wrong reasons. Later in life, you look back at your decisions and wonder how you got so far from following your heart.
Let Penguin Random House’s publishing decision inspire you to follow your heart. They aren’t backing down. They’re committed to diversity and inclusion.