“Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.” ― Robert Fulghum
I’d forgotten about this book. I found it again in my travels and as I held it in my hands, I remembered…
Don’t hit people
Clean up your own mess
… and so, it goes.
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum is a treasure. It’s the kind of book that makes you smile and nod in agreement, over and over again.
It is… transforming… if you allow it to be.
I remember when I first read it… years and years ago… the 1980’s, I would guess, since that’s when it was published. I carried it in my purse for a year, at least. It was a guidebook, of sorts, for a frazzled mom of three kids, one with special needs. (That would be me!)
Fulghum mentions, in the Introduction, that it was written over the course of many years, to friends, loved ones and to his church. He was, at one time, a minister. He was also a cowboy, a folksinger, teacher and philosopher. It shows! He is a master of all, though he may not say it. But you can tell. Know what I mean?
When he says that “All [we] Really Need to Know…” he means it. There is nothing that isn’t covered… at least, nothing that isn’t important. This book is filled with life and death… and everything in between.
I’m sure some might call this book sappy, possibly simplistic. But dammit, that’s the point! The simplicity, I mean, not the sap. And you know, I’m not one who likes sap or cloying, gooey books. Well, except recipe books with chocolate… they can be gooey and sweet… but nothing else! No, the simplicity is needed and appreciated in a book like this.
What kind of book is it? A beauty… little nuggets of gold… a saving grace. That’s what it is!
Take, for example, this excerpt:
“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 as a basic policy to always put things 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.” ― Robert Fulghum
Look me in the face and tell me this wouldn’t be a beautiful world! Cookies? Naps? C’mon!
The chapters are very short, the book itself is short and my paperback copy will still fit in my purse. And, by the way, I’m putting it there right now!
And the ending? It never ends. When you read it, you’ll understand!
This is a book that was very, VERY popular when it came out. You don’t see it around much anymore. What a pity.
I want to go on and on. But you know what? There is nothing left to say. Well, just this: This book is a gem. *blissful sigh*
*Originally written by me for this blog on November 8, 2018
I would actually quote this book when I worked for the Postal Service during service and safety talks. It worked very well.
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