You have likely heard the saying ‘All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten’. It has become a common phrase, thought and concept but do you know who said it?
The author of this wisdom-for-a-modern-age is Robert Fulghum and it is more than a saying. Fulghum has delved into many early lessons and shares them beautifully in his book by the same name; a book of concepts that we all learned in Kindergarten that can be attributed to everyday adult situations.
What first comes to mind, at least to my mind, when I think of such early life-lessons is ‘sharing’ – definitely something acquired in the pits of preschool that affects our daily existence, no matter what our age.
So does Fulghum mean that after Kindergarten we might as well go out into the world since we’ve learned all we need to know? Of course he doesn’t. Or does he? Perhaps we should, because as adults, we seem to have forgotten some of the lessons – some of the important ones – or at least we have forgotten that they still apply to us and not just to our kids.
Why, as adults, do we not live by many of the lessons that we learned at four, five, six years old yet we consistently pass them down to our children generation after generation?
Why do we inherit or inhabit a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to life?
I bought a book once, in a similar vein to Fulghum’s. It is a small little book, the size you would think to buy a child. It is filled with the wisdom of children derived from the author’s observances of her own children. Each lesson on each page is short and sweet – much like children. Some make you laugh, some bring back memories and some draw a tear.
The book is entitled Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me by Cynthia Copeland Lewis. It is filled with wisdom such as:
“If the flowers you draw don’t look like anyone elses, that’s good.”
“Anybody can skate on smooth ice.”
and one of my favourites because of its true-idity:
“It’s possible to feel full when it comes to vegetables,
but not full when it comes to a piece of cake.”
Along with writing daily gratitudes on my Buddha Board, perhaps I will make these books my daily wisdom books – my how-am-I-doing check.
So in my journey toward walking on the brighter side of the street, thanks to Robert, I’ll remember to hold hands while I’m crossing, and thanks to Cynthia, I’ll resolve to never pop anyone else’s bubble.
…And of course, many thanks to Mrs. Ormsby, my kindergarten teacher.
As with many things, Robert Fulghum’s essay has been YouTube-ized and I feel it is definitely worth sharing. A Bright-Side of the Web mid-week treat. Enjoy!