What I Learned Kindergarten

In 1989, on a flight home to Houston from California I read a book that made an impact on me. This little book, “Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum is a collection of essays on how life would truly be better if we all just applied the lessons of kindergarten to adulthood. 

I only have one memory from kindergarten. I remember my excitement when it was finally my turn to use the “fairy wand” to tap all the other kids signaling that nap time was over. Drop the mic. Everything I had done to that point, in my five years of life, had brought me to this glorious moment. I was the nap fairy.

My kindergarten report card filled in blanks where my memory lapsed. Back then, kindergarten was the first foray into the real world. For the first five years of our lives we were sheltered at home with either our mother, trusted friend, or another relative to care for us. Today things are so different; not better or worse, just different. Many of the lessons I learned in kindergaten are now taught in preschool so that by the time children reach kindergarten they are expected to do real school work. For the sake of my point, we’re going to refer to kindergarten as it was back in my day – 1963.

Share…Play well with others…Use manners…Follow directions…Obey safety rules (and all rules for that matter)…Listen when others are talking…Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Practice humility and be kind. It isn’t rocket science. These are the lessons we should be living today.

The last one is quite possibly the most important. With all the hatred being spewed at fellow citizens we have forgotten common descency; or that is what we are led to believe by watching the reports on television and the internet. I don’t see it in my personal life and I live in a suburb of the fourth largest city in the country and the most diverse city in the country. I’m proud of that. I choose to look for the good in people; that is what I expect therefore that is what I receive. I listen more than I talk and I never think I am better or more valuable than any other life God placed upon this earth. 

One last piece of advice…turn off the television and ignore what all those people try to tell you. Look for yourself; think for yourself; and remember what you learned in kindergarten.


2 thoughts on “What I Learned Kindergarten

  1. Yes…kindergarten was very gratifying to me…We all played…sun kissed children of different hues…I remember getting on a big plane traveling to the mainland…my very first mainland trip was an abrupt move…then I met Charlie.. It made the move almost great…He had deep blue beautiful eyes.. Those eyes that could fool you into thinking that you were actually swimming in the ocean. He loved my curled locks…we were inseparable for 3 long days….”Miss you must complete the form!” Well, I had never been asked that before…”You must pick one” I thought for a couple minutes and completed the form. Given the choices I picked the closest answer that looked like me and my sisters…I turned smiling at Charlie glad to be rid of that chore…I will never forget his cold frozen eyes, nor the sting I felt because of the hue of my skin…a sun kissed child…nor have I forgotten what I learned in kindergarten…it was a beautiful time when we all played together…

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