Friday, November 6, 2009

Still learning

I am a kindergarten drop-out.

That's my confession for the day. Most who know me well already know the particulars of why I dropped out of kindergarten. Those who don't know the particulars, well, know me well enough to figure out why I didn't survive that early session of learning in my life.

I made it two weeks: reclining on a bathroom rug at nap time (not sleeping but eating Lisa Winter's snack - she was very glad I dropped out, I'm certain) and going home every single day to tell Mama that the kindergarten teacher was really that woman who wore a black dress in "The Wizard of Oz."

Several years ago, an author penned a popular book called "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Although I'd recommend the entire book (I listened to it once on tape while travelling to Nashville. You will realize how long ago that was when you note I stated I listed to it on TAPE), there's an excerpt from the book that gets reprinted and repeated quite often.

While thinking about a lot that I don't know today (not to mention things I still have yet to "get"), I realized that I did learn a lot of positive things very early in life. Maybe not in a kindergarten setting but at the age I would have been in one.

So I wanted to share Robert Fulghum's insight here again. I needed to be reminded and feel some other folks might need to be as well. Particularly on the day after such an almost unspeakable tragedy occured on an Army base in Texas.

If only we could adopt a large portion - if not all of these - concepts in our lives, I can only imagine how different the world around us might be.

So here it is. Read it for the first time or the bazillionth. Although I'm certain the last sentence of this passage is placed there on purpose, it does resonate what could solve some of the turmoil we now feel if we would only adopt it as a basic action in each of our lives.

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.

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 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
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die.
So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
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 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.

1 comment:

heidi_lynn825 said...

Oh know, I've often thought about that very thing...everything we do need to know, we learn as children. Adults teach us all that...why then, is it so tough for us to teach ourselves? I suppose that is what Jesus meant by saying we must enter the Kingdon of Heaven as little children.