No Matter How Small; Imagining a New Human Dignity Movement

Ann Voskamp | 2/20/2019 | Staff
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It was a weekday morning and we packed our four kids into the minivan and rambled down Route 40 toward that venerable Nashville landmark The Grand Ole Opry.

We weren’t there to see one of our favorite country music artists, but a live production of Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who.

Rest - Family - Wife - Day - Work

To be honest, while the rest of the family was excited, I admit that if my wife hadn’t politely asked (ordered) me to take a day off work, I wouldn’t have made this entertainment choice.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Chairs - Opry - Theater - Expectations - Production

So as we settled into our comfortable chairs at the Opry, I pre-pared myself to be bored. I thoroughly enjoy theater, but I had low expectations for a production designed to amuse children and, by extension, weary adults.

I consoled myself with a fully-charged iPhone, invented for these kinds of situations. My plan was to dim the brightness, read a few online articles I’d bookmarked on my browser, and re-emerge after the play.


I never looked at my iPhone.

I was enraptured by the performance. I’d read the book a few times as a kid and a few more as a parent, but it wasn’t until I saw Dr. Seuss’s vivid morality tale on stage, under the lights, that its powerful, repeated message grabbed my heart:

Person - Person - Matter - Small

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

When I heard this phrase, I sat straight up. It was so simple, so obvious, and so compelling.“Yes,” I thought, “every person really is a… person, no matter what their usefulness to society, no matter how seemingly insignificant they are, no matter what their stature.”

Person - Person - Thought - Strange - Age

A person’s a person. What a thought for our strange and confused age.

He saw humanity in people he had once considered subhuman.

Course - IPhone - Pocket - Origins

Curious, I researched (later, of course, with my iPhone firmly in my pocket) the origins of...
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