Friday, November 09, 2007

What I Learned in Kindergarten

We've all read the pithy wisdom of Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, quoted here in part:
  • 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.
  • 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 in 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.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Fulghum's words are just common sense politeness and we all benefit when those around us practice these things. Not bad things to learn in kindergarten. But if you're like me, you learned a few other things in kindergarten, too. Here are some things I learned in kindergarten that I've since had to reconsider:
  • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
  • There is only one right person that you can be happily married to.
  • The earth can only be 7000 years old.
  • My church is the only right one.
  • Syncopation is of the devil.
  • The only thing worse than rock music is Christian rock music.
  • Only fanatics raise their hands during the singing time at church.
  • Catholics can not be real Christians.
  • There is only one right interpretation of scripture.
  • Speaking in tongues is not taught in Scripture.
  • Real Christians can’t dance, drink, or smoke.
  • The pastor is always right.

However, some of the things I learned in kindergarten have been tested and proven true:
  • Not everything is worth doing well.
  • If you can’t say anything nice, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.
  • Money isn’t everything.
  • The Bible is authoritative.
  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  • No one is beyond redemption.
  • God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life.
  • By faith we understand.
  • Jesus loves me.


eclexia said...

:)I like the succinct lesson reminders, especially of:
Take a nap every afternoon and
Not everything that is worth doing is worth doing well.

Some of the ones you had to reconsider struck home with me, too. I remember the first time I visited my aunt's church. In between Sunday School and church, I saw my Sunday School teacher smoking a cigarette. I couldn't reconcile in my little mind how you could be going to hell and still teach Sunday School! Fortunately I learned along the way that smoking here doesn't mean you'll be smoking for all eternity....
It's also nice to reflect on the past and see what we've learned as well as what we've unlearned.

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