My Dad is the kind of guy who is constantly ripping and cutting articles out of newspapers and magazines and mailing them to people he thinks will appreciate what he has found. It drives my Mom crazy that he does this before she has even had a chance to read the paper or the magazine. But after 60 years of marriage, my father continues to clip away in his own little world.
When I saw my Dad this past weekend for Father’s Day, he had a column that he had recently cut from a newsletter and he handed it to me and said, “I know you think you’re too old to be told anything, but I thought you would enjoy this column. You’ve probably already read it but it’s the kind of thing that everyone needs to be reminded about. Just think about it.”
I did think about it and my Dad was right. This column below is a good basic reminder about how to navigate the ups and downs of that magical ride we call life. For anyone who is sad, confused or frustrated about what is going on in their life right now, this column, which was written almost 25 years ago, may help you reset yourself and start again with a fresh outlook:
All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten
By Robert Fulghum
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.
— Play fair.
— Don’t hit people.
— Clean up your own mess.
— Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
— Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
— Wash your hands before you eat.
— Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
— Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
— Take a nap every afternoon.
— When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
— 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.
— Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even little seeds in the styrofoam cup–they all die. So do we.
— And remember the Dick-and-Jane boks and the first word you learned — the biggest word of all — LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and the love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it inoto 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 we all — the whole world — had cookies and milk bout three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as 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.