Robert Fulghum is one of my favoritewriters/story tellers. And of all his books, All I Really Need To KnowI Learned In Kindergarten is my favorite. It'shard to say what makes his stories so entertaining, but his is a masterstoryteller. Gripping, light-hearted yet serious when needed,inspirational without being preachy...just good stuff.
Here's a bit from the title chapter:
Each spring, for many years, I have set myself the task of writing a
personal statement of belief: a Credo. When I was younger, the
statement ran for many pages, trying to cover every base, with no
loose ends. It sounded like a Supreme Court brief, as if words could
resolve all conflicts about the meaning of existence. The Credo has
grown shorter in recent years -- sometimes cynical, sometimes
comical, sometimes bland--but I keep working at it. Recently I set
out to get the statement of personal belief down to one page in simple
terms, fully understanding the naive idealism that implied.
inspiration for brevity came to me at a gasoline station. I managed to
fill an old car's tank with super-deluxe high-octane go-juice. My old
hoopy couldn't handle it and got the willies--kept sputtering out at
intersections and belching going downhill. I understood. My mind and
my spirit get like that from time to time. Too much high-content
information, and I get the existential willies--keep sputtering out
at intersections where life choices must be made and I either know too
much or not enough. The examined life is no picnic.
I realized then
that I already know most of what's necessary to live a meaningful
life--that it isn't all that complicated. I know it. And have known
it for a long, long time. Living it--well, that's another matter,
yes? Here's my Credo: 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:
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. * Wash your hands
before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for
Live a balanced life--learn some and think some and draw and
paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
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
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little
seed in the Styrofoam cup--they all die. So do we.
remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned--the
biggest word of all--LOOK.
As Mr. Fulghum goes on to discuss, it's all in there. Ecology,politics, equality, love, basic sanitation...
When you just have a few minutes and you want to escape thehorrors/stresses of the day, grab this book, open randomly and enjoy.