“All I Needed to Know”


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.7E069A8D-E3D0-4608-A710-DD377B2963F2

16 thoughts on ““All I Needed to Know”

  1. I completely agree with you, I see it every day too. I know there are so many amazing people out there but apparently we just don’t cross paths very often. 🙂


  2. My memories of my first school (aged 5) are of getting messy with paints, mud, and flour. Coat hooks at low level, and toilets designed for little people. Singing songs, being read to from books, and having to have a ‘little sleep’ before going home. We also had a ‘Red Indian’ wigwam in one corner, and I used to sit inside that with a little girl who liked me.
    I don’t remember the girl’s name now, nor that of the lady teacher.
    Strange, the small things that stick in the mind. Tiny snippets that make me quite emotional when I recollect them.
    Best wishes, Pete.


    1. I really enjoy your memories that come up from my posts. I think memories are lovely without feeling nostalgic for the “not always so good old times.” I too feel deeply when I remember my little self.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharing and caring were taught to us. Rulers had the “Golden Rule” on them. Today, kids make fun of the old ways. It’s all about “me” and no time given to others. So sad how the kids are turning out.


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