40 Days 40 Words: Lessons
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do
and how to be... I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Share everything. (So true....in education...you borrow and share everything. Budgets often forced us to whether we liked it or not.)
Play fair. (I'm pretty sure there are quite a few people who haven't learned this and it makes me truly sad.)
Don't hit people. (Oh...how I've wanted to a few times but resist ,I did!)
Put things back where you found them. (This is a hard one, with classrooms without storage, with little hands grabbing and with only a few minutes to spare in the day!)
Clean up your own mess. (Not only did I learn this but often found myself telling my husband the same thing....in a very teacher-y voice.)
Don't take things that aren't yours. (True but then teachers are notorious for "borrowing" things found on the copier)
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. (This doesn't happen as often as it should. It's hard with the revolving door of education.)
Wash your hands before you eat. (A MUST during flu season in an elementary or middle school...or just about any school)
Flush. (Oh my YES!)
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. (Yes this is part of the reason I had to join the gym in my old age)
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some. (Amen! This is so true and I will carry this lesson with me into retirement.)
Take a nap every afternoon. (Oh yes....another good one for retirement!)
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together. (True...even in St Louis on an icy street....)
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that. (Amazing...there are so many things in life that we truly do not understand but they are wonderful and amazing none the less!)
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die.
So do we. (This is a hard lesson. I've lost a few friends and beloved family through the years and none are ever easy to let go of.)
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK. (Look....yes I will remember this one on the Alaska trip and all my other adventures and even just in daily life LOOK,....and SEE.....and understand the important things in life. )
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if
all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about
three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments
had a basic policy to always put thing back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together. (I will be holding a lot of hands....crossing streets, on ship decks, on flights, on the sidewalks, at the gym ...everywhere.....this world can be a crazy place....Holding hands makes it a little less scary.)
© Robert Fulghum, 1990.
Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.