Did the Lorax Drive a Prius?

I just read The Lorax to my son. Many of Dr. Seuss’ books remain fresh, but this one seems particularly relevant at the moment. Here’s a quote. (Which character? See last paragraph for the answer.)

I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads.

The growth imperative features, not only in this 1971 book, but also in a 2010 story: Toyota sacrificed quality for global growth and got burned (as the Washington Post puts it). That’s particularly sad since Toyota is so strongly identified with the quality movement. If Toyota did indeed sacrifice quality for quantity, then it betrayed the very principle that made it one of the world’s great organizations.

For more on the current Toyota story, see… all over the web, but particularly my previous post and a professional PR perspective.

But back to the Lorax we started with: here’s his statue, in a sculpture garden I wish I’d visited when I lived nearer to it.

The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is now open at the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where Theodor Seuss Geisel was born and which appears to have inspired much of his work.

The Lorax is the shortish, oldish, brownish, mossy, and bossy environmentalist in the story that bears his name. The Once-ler is the industrialist quoted above.