Then forgotten . . .
The words I use today came from Johnny Carson, and though he did not write them, it was he who gave them to me, and really, to all the world. Perhaps you know them, too, they are titled, “All I Ever Really Needed To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten”, and were penned by Robert Fulghum.
“Most of what I really need to know about how to live, what to do and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom did not arrive at the top of the graduate school mountain, but was to be found 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 someone.
“Wash you hands before you eat. Remember to flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Each day learn some and think some. Draw, paint, sing, dance, work and play some every day.
“Take a nap each afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic. Hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seeds we grew in plastic cups? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we’re all like that.
“Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seeds in the plastic cup, they all die . . . and so do we.
“And remember the book about Dick and Jane and the very first word you learned. The biggest word of all . . . . LOOK.
“Everything you need to know is somewhere back there in the Sandbox. The Golden Rule, love, basic sanitation, ecology, politics and sane, sensible living.
“Think of what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world . . . had cookies and milk about 2:00 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.
“Or if we had a basic policy of our nation . . . and the whole world, to always put things back where we found them. And cleaned up our own messes.
“And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is still best to hold hands, stick together and not let anyone get lost.”
I never did know who or where Robert Fulghum was, but his words hold wisdom that could re-make our world over night if we would but go back to the rules which kept kindergarten a safe, happy place to be.
Where the only rules were those to teach us how to live happily with those around us.
His words cut right through me today when I stumbled upon them, the same as they did years ago, and I . . . and the entire world . . . would like to go back and take the whole kindergarten course again. Thank you Robert Fulghum for writing the words . . . and to Johnny Carson for finding and giving them to us all.