Recently I picked up a copy of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” I had heard of the book but never read it. To my big surprise, I really enjoyed to humor and wisdom as well as the stories. Mr. Fulghum recounts many personal experiences in his tales that warmed my heart because they were descriptions of authentic human beings, real life accounts of neighbors, friends and family. I never met Mr. Fulghum personally but through his writings I got to know something about him, an honest man who loves his country, his family and home-life.
The way he describes the lessons learned in Kindergarten, I feel like many people today may have skipped Kindergarten or have just plainly forgotten the early lessons. Here are the rules, if you never read the book:
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. 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.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first work you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”
“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 things 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.”
~ Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
For me the reading has been very refreshing, getting me out of the cold winter mood and reminding me that there is always new life and fresh ideas when we see them through the eyes of a child.
Thank you, Mr. Fulghum, for providing a medium for me to remind me, that when we look at the world through children’s eyes, it suddenly becomes exciting and adventurous again.