Oh, the Places You'll Go!
by Dr. Seuss
Oh, the Places You'll Go! Choices Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Stanza)
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. (2)
At first, we're full of optimism about all this upcoming decision-making. Sounds fun, right? You can choose whatever you like. As your child sets off into the world, we have no doubts that they'll be able to decide where to go. "YOU" will do it. No fear here!
You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town. (3-4)
One whopping stanza later, your child's confidence remains. There is clear and eager agency in the statement, "I don't choose to go there," nor is there any confusion about whether a street is good or bad. In these familiar territories, your child knows just what to do. Just the kind of confidence one needs to launch an exploration.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they are darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare stay out? Do you dare go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind. (15-16)
Ah, there's the drama we were looking for. Now we see the downside of having too many choices. Your kid is so turned around they can't even figure out if "right-and-three-quarters" is the right amount to turn. There's no one to help in those "darked" windows, either. It's no wonder your kid feels confused and alone.