Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Refresher Course in Kindergarten Ethics

I would venture to guess that the vast majority of those reading this post have already read the following excerpt by Robert Fulghum at least once. Having said that, I sometimes need a reminder of the simple truths found within this book, and I hope you don't mind me sharing them here.

All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

- by Robert Fulghum

Most of what 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 sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
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 some every day.

Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic 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 the little seed in the plastic cup - they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane 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 love and basic sanitation, ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes. 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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I am currently working on a revised version of this list where I will contrast and compare Mr. Fulghum's wisdom with that of one of my favorite television shows. It will be delightful, I'm sure. Stay tuned...


Annie K said...

I've got to do better at taking a nap every afternoon. THAT is a great piece of wisdom.

Helen said...

Balance...that could be why I have been getting headaches....
Yesterday I had the headache from h-e-double hockey stick, and spent the whole afternoon napping... I probably should nap and eat cookies and milk every day... hmmm... time to cookie shop! Om nom nyom nom nom...

Tina said...

Love this .... so simple ... so true .... makes me think of Matthew 18:3

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

YES! I want to live in kindergarten FOREVER.

And I can't WAIT for the Katdish adaptation. I do expect it to be delightful.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

Love that book and the thoughts, especially "Be aware of wonder" - living with wonder makes life so much more fun!

Looking forward to the "Katdish Version"

Marni said...

I have issues with this book. Not because it's not a great book, it totally is "It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It"...but I digress.

I have issues because I did a speech on it in college, and the stupid speech teacher HATED this book and gave me a bad grade. Loser.

BUT, I cannot wait to read your blog about this wisdom mixed in with that of a TV show. A must read, no-doubt.

Tony C said...

I need to find the kindergartener buried within me...he was a pretty cool kid!

Sande said...

Love my nanna naps ... and not even a nanna yet.

We should take our world back to kindy politics. simplicity I say. Why do the bullies always spoil it for everyone else?

Candace Jean July 16 said...

I think the "wash your hands" and "flush" are out of order, but I sure do love me some kindergarten wisdom. You'll have to be very clear with the television show post. Can they be from the 80's? I haven't watched much since then.

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

This is always worth a repost...can't wait to read the Katdish version! :)

bman said...

So, it's going to be "What I learned from deep sea crab fishing?"

I can't wait for it!

Shark Bait said...

I think they also said something about not talking to strangers. That's why I don't Twitter.

I'm just saying.