Kindergarten taught us everything we need to know

little children going to kindergarten
Many of life's lessons are learned at a young age.

As the sight of students and teachers becomes commonplace once again at Camana Bay following summer break, we're reminded of the simple life lessons we learned when we were young.

The vision of children trundling off to kindergarten at CIS and Starfish Village with backpacks almost as big as they are warm the heart and bring a rush of memories from when I was a kid.

Those memories turn my mind to an essay in a book by Robert Fulghum titled, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things." Here are a few of my favourites:

Share Everything
If there are 20 kids and three balls, two sandboxes, two goldfish, one hamster, four sets of blocks and one bathroom, to be fair, we share. And for us? How will society survive without equitable distribution of our earth’s resources?

Don’t Hit People, Play Fair
To my regret, I recall bedlam at the dinner table as I took a swing at our 12-year-old when he shoved a pea up his brother’s nose. His karate lessons helped him to deftly block the blow. His siblings (minus the one with the pea) thought it hilarious. Violence won’t make a better society. I knew it, I just didn’t do it. Seems I needed a refresher course.

Clean Up Your Own Mess
My gosh, imagine what the world would be like if every country, every city and town, every industry and every person did that.

Our children’s kindergarten teacher thought it would be great if she brought a dozen freshly laid eggs and hatched them in the classroom. They hatched and the little fuzzy critters were a source of delight for the children. Two weeks later, the teacher was desperately looking for a farmer to take them. This entailed explaining the cycle of chick – to chicken – to fryer.

There is life, and there is death. It is a span as short as a chicken's or as long as an old grandparent's. It is, as they say, what makes life so special.

Hold Hands when You Cross the Street
When we venture onward from kindergarten, it is important in this world to hold hands. To hold them with loved ones, and with unloved ones in our borders and beyond.

Deep Kindergarten is deep within us. Somehow as we age, the hurry and the blurry of life seem to set us adrift. Perhaps if we turn our minds back to our tender beginnings, we might recall what in life are really simple choices.

This article will also be featured in the September/October print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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