The other day, a friend who is a newly qualified teacher sent me a message looking for a poem All I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. She needs it in her value education class in a public school. I told her it is not really a poem but a title of a book by Robert Fulghum, a summary of life’s little treasures that made a big impact on me when I read it several years ago. It’s actually my first encounter with Robert Fulghum. I was lucky enough to find three more of his books and they have pride of place in my bookshelves. I thought we all need to be reminded of those things our parents and our teachers taught us when we were kids, practical tips that still hold true until now. It all boils down to the basics, right? It’s the Golden Rule summed up in a few words.
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.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
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.
Living a balanced life – it’s all work and no play so they say. We are all engrossed and so busy with work that we sometimes forget to relax and feed our minds and our hearts with activities that make us happy. We are so busy living a life (the way we want and understand it) that we forget the passing years not knowing how to smell the flowers, how to appreciate nature at its best, how to just be. You would think that is easier said than done and it’s true that in this busy cosmos of life, you will just be surprised that you’ve grown old, with white hairs slowly showing and you ask yourself, “Where have all the years gone?” Then you dream of those things that you wanted to do when you were young.
Life is short and the untrodden paths are sometimes the best way to see what is on the other side. Your attitude towards any situation would always make a difference.
“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do.”