April 2nd, 2008

The Fifth Element

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

A while back, I read a charming little book by Robert Fulghum entitled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten in which he used little stories that if we, as adults, were to take a few of the seemingly benign things we were taught as children and put them to real-world use, the world would be a better place:

  • 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.

How cute.

I was at the water fountain this morning thinking about how much I've changed in the last ten years and wondering if I'm just as surly and gruff now as I used to find other people my age ten years ago. I cannot rely on those who've known me for that long, because surely their perspective has changed as well. When I first started wearing my hair in a pony tail I would only wear the black tiebacks. Anything else was gay. I mean, you can't expect a heterosexual guy to wear a colorful tieback, right? These days, I just don't care. I reach into my wife's vanity and wear whatever the hell I happen to pull out.

I'm too old, too tired, too hungry to go chase some hot rod. And I'm definitely too thirsty.

This led me to my next conclusion. I learned something different in kindergarten, yet equally as effective. And unlike Mr. Fulghum, I don't have to wish that the rest of the world would follow the advice for them to work. I present to you, the ehowton version of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten:

  • Some people are just really, really weird. You need to avoid them.

  • Even if you do the right thing every time, others may not.

  • People will steal from you, then lie about it.

  • Sometimes people in authority will put their finger inside you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

  • Most people don't care about playing fair. They suck.

  • Those who should be punished, usually aren't.

  • A sense of humor will get you through most scrapes.

  • Be happy with what you have, as many have much less.

  • Get to know people before judging them.

  • Some people won't like you. That's ok. You'll have more fun with the ones who do.

  • You can enjoy yourself no matter where you are or what you're doing, by always being yourself.