Many years ago Robert Fulghum wrote a short book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” As I began reflecting on education, I realized that throughout our lives we learn many things in many different ways. This series of posts, rather than chronological, will instead reflect the variety of teachers and lessons we encounter as we age and, preferably, mature.
Fulghum’s first rule he learned at five years old was “share everything.” All around me I see entitled people acting as though they were the only ones with needs. I would say that this is merely the grousing of an older person complaining about the young, but it is just as often older people acting like this. American culture seems to be teeming at the moment not with “America First,”(Donald Trump’s slogan) but with “Me First.” Of course it is possible that there is a connection. At least the first reinforces the second.
Back in kindergarten we were taught both that we needed to share and also that there was enough for everyone. Somehow both lessons seem to have gotten lost along the way. With the “quantities limited,” “hurry in now before they are all gone,” and “be the first to own…” we are being taught the opposite. We are encouraged to focus on meeting our needs first. We also are being taught that there is “not enough.”
I remember Miss Hilen’s kindergarten classroom with great affection. We shared. We had enough. We learned that together we were one terrific bunch of kids.