Monday, August 28, 2006

The Lorax

The Lorax
By: Benjamin Salinas

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
And I’m asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs”--
he was very upset as he shouted and puffed--
“What’s that THING you’ve made out of my Truffula tuft?”

Many times in the past 3 years, I have felt like the Lorax, having to ask the strange Once-ler what he has made out of “MY” Truffula tuft.

And I started to think about it, and reread the story, and I realized how well the story of this strange little man fits into many of our lives. I present the following coincidences for your consideration.

  • A strange man, the Once-ler, comes into a peaceful community and begins chopping down trees.
  • A small man, the Lorax, decides to speak for the trees and stand up against this man.

  • The Once-ler argues that he is doing everyone a favor by creating a Thneed, which many people seem to want (though personally, I couldn’t see anyone actually using it).
  • The Once-ler, in spite of the Lorax, calls in all his friends and family to make a quick buck.

  • “And in no time at all, in the factory I built,
    the whole Once-ler Family was working full tilt”

  • However, the Once-ler decides that ending one program at a time (err..chopping down one tree at a time) is too slow, and so he invents the “Super-Axe-Hacker, which whacked off four Truffula Trees at one smacker.”

  • Soon, the Brown Bar-ba-loots, who survived off the shade provided by the Truffula trees (and even were nourished by the FRUITS of these trees) are forced to go elsewhere to find nourishment. To this, the Lorax says:

  • “They loved living here. But I can’t let them stay.
    They’ll have to find food. And I hope that they may".
    "Good luck, boys,” he cried. And he sent them away.

  • But, while the Once-ler was off biggering, the Lorax came back AGAIN. This time to announce that the poor Swomee-Swans could no longer sing a note.

  • “No one can sing who has smog in his throat.”

  • And so, the singers leave. The Lorax points out that they are going to have to fly.

  • “They may have to fly for a month… or a year…
    to escape from the smog you’ve smogged-up around here.
    There has definitely been smog, smogged up around here."

  • However, this is not it. The Lorax then points out the “Gluppity Glup” and “Schloppity-Schlopp” and all the other left over goo that gets fed to the fish. (Consider, if you will, that Christ called us to be fishers of men. What does that make the fish?)
  • Now, consider who we are, most recently, feeding “Gluppity Glup” and “Schloppity-Schlopp” to, forcing them to leave to surrounding communities to live.
  • Then, we are then met with a wake-up call— "the very last Trufulla tree of them all has finally been chopped down". There is no more damage to be done, and so everyone leaves.

  • “The Lorax said nothing. Just gave me a glance…
    just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance…
    as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants.
    And I’ll never forget the grim look on his face
    when he heisted himself and took leave of this place,
    through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.”

    As the story ends, we learn how the Once-ler has undergone a huge change in ideals. He now speaks of the word “UNLESS.”

    Dr. Seuess is describing a seemingly made up world in this book, but it is one very close to home for many of us.

    We have seen our trees chopped down and as for our Brown Bar-ba-loots, ones that we have sworn to protect and lived with for years, we’ve seen them sent away. We’ve seen the smoggiest of smog and the gluppiest of glupps send others away. We’ve seen the entire story of the Lorax, unfold before our very eyes.

    It is safe to say that one day the Once-ler and his family will realize what they have done and regret it. The question is when? And, more importantly, how much damage will have been done? Will it be possible, as the Once-ler suggests, to plant these seeds of our faith?

    Will they regrow what we have lost?

    I don’t know...

    In the mean time, however, I will leave you with some words by another very wise man, Eric Clapton.

    “Let’s make the best of the situation
    Before I finally go insane.

    Please don't say we'll never find a way
    And tell me all my love's in vain.”

    Oh, it should also be noted that in the entire book, we never once see the Once-ler’s face.

    Tune in next week for an analysis of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"”.

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    Anonymous said...

    From a former Swomee-Swan:
    Ben, what a wonderful analogy! I guess it's only fitting that a children's book can relate to the childish behavior of those "in charge" at Holy Spirit. I spend my day with 9 and 10 year-olds and I have to say that their actions and integrity far outweigh the "powers-that-be". Thank God for children who know right from wrong - Louie and his "elite" could learn a thing or two from them.

    Anonymous said...

    Heart-warming to know that our youth can see right through what is happening at Holy Spirit Parish. Thanks for sharing this with us, Ben!
    Also know that your father and mother will always remain a very loved and respected part of Holy Spirit's past and that it has been an absolute joy watching the Salines kids grow up to become young adults right before our eyes.
    Thanks for the memories!

    Anonymous said...

    You know whats sad? Some youth don't know what is going on in the parish. And some don't care.

    ~A Saddened Parishioner

    Anonymous said...

    I bet the youth that don't know and don't care are the children of parents that don't know and don't care. Very sad situation.

    Anonymous said...

    You know what else? I'm wondering how the high school youth group is taking the loss of their coordinator.

    ~A Saddened Parishioner