I’ve listened to a lot of rhetoric in my day, but I have to wonder about this particular piece. Can it possibly be true, as Robert Fulghum theorizes, that All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Admittedly, I often wonder how much more efficient I’d be if I stopped to take an afternoon nap; it’s possible this blog post would achieve levels of informative entertainment not so ascertainable in my present java-filled “grown up” state.
A nap? Could it be that simple?
According to Fulghum, whose ever-evolving masterpiece is closing in on a quarter of a century since original publication, a nap is just the ice chips in the scissor-snipped plastic opening of the Freeze Pop. He illuminates keys to a fulfilling life; a life lived within the teachings of our earliest professors.
“Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them.”
These are the basic tenets that lead to more advanced lessons.
“Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.”
Ironically, I was a kindergartener as Fulghum was penning his prose, fighting off the evil teacher’s aide whose sole morning mission was to get me on the blue cot for 40 minutes before lunch. Yet, I resisted. Talk about regret!
Everyone has, at one point or another, dreamt of going back to a simpler time with the knowledge they possess now that they’re an adult. “Oh the things we’d do differently” we ramble at dinner parties or cocktail bars. Somehow I think this mentality serves only to bury the inherent moral. It doesn’t help anyone to wish we could go back; the point is to move forward and apply those kindergarten lessons as we march along.
If hindsight is 20/20, then Fulghum’s figurative vision is off the charts.
“Wash your hands before you eat. Flush… And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned-the biggest word of all—LOOK.”
Hindsight is definitely 20/20; we just need to open our eyes. LOOK.
Pick up your copy of Kindergarten at Content Reserve today, you won’t even have to put it back where you found it.
Jason Sockel is a Collection Development Associate at OverDrive.