Saturday, 30 June 2012

The small miracle of kindergarten

My granddaughter will be going to kindergarten this fall, which brings to mind one of my favourite pieces of writing. I wish I'd written it.

All I really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten

(a guide for Global Leadership)
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:

  • 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.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
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.

There's some powerful wisdom there.


Looking is the whole basis for seeing God's small miracles in your life. God puts them all around you, but developing the habit of looking for them is a discipline I am still working on. I forget so easily. Especially when I am out walking in this summer weather, there is so much in the miracle department. Have you ever examined the delicacy of a fern? Or stood looking into the sky to see the top of an enormous tree? Or watched a colony of ants at work? Think for a minute about the variety God put into His world. He didn't have to make all the colours, shapes, textures and sizes, but He did. Imagine if everything was green? Green is my favourite colour, but not to the exclusion of the others. Especially in summer, I am so thankful for the riot of colours among the flowers. It feeds my soul to look at them. When you go out in the world, hold hands and stick together. I've always remembered that line. It's a scary world sometimes, and we need to hold hands and stick together. So many times in my life, a friend has come alongside me when I am struggling, and we have crossed the road together. I have done this for others, too. I'm pretty sure God made us that way. That's why He invented friendship and marriage and families and church--all places to hold hands and walk together. 

 By yourself you're unprotected. 
   With a friend you can face the worst. 
   Can you round up a third? 
   A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped. Eccl. 4:12

We have a lot to learn from those five year olds! 

What part of this classic piece do you relate to?

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