spiritual writings | retreat center directory

You're invited to visit our sister site DanJoseph.com, a resource site
featuring articles on spirituality, psychology, and A Course in Miracles.

Home | Writings | General | Robert Fulghum | Kindergarten part 1 | next   

Excerpted from All I Really Need to Know I Leaned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. Copyright 1986 by Robert Fulghum. Excerpted by permission of Villard Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School."

Robert Fulghum, 
All I Really Need to Know I 
Leaned in Kindergarten
, Part 1

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.

The 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 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.

Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

next ->