Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Before I went back to work, I used to nap every day. And oh, how I loved my naps. Now that I'm working three (paid) jobs - that doesn't include raising my family, maintaining my household, and oh yeah, this blog - I only have time to nap on the weekends.

When I got home from a long and harrowing excursion with my kids this evening (past their bedtime, mind you), I practically flung them up the stairs for Hubby to deal with. Then I seriously considered taking a nap before sitting down to work. This poster that was hung up in my high school came to mind.

I loved it then and I love it now. There is so much truth to this (an excerpt from Robert Fulghum's book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten), that it literally brings tears to my eyes.

I know the font on the poster is too small to read, so here it is, in all its humble glory:

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 we 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.

See how important napping is? It's in there twice!


  1. I read this book many year ago. It was a revolution then and I find it to be just as poignant today. Thank you so much for posting this and reminding me that the little things are really the important ones, and that the "seemingly" important ones just don't really matter all that much. I needed the reminder, believe me!

  2. I've never read the book but I should.
    In the meantime my reminder of "it's the little things that matter" is The Little Prince.

  3. Where can I get this poster?? I had it as a kid, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.. :[[