How are you feeling these days? Overwhelmed by the “yuck factor” in our presidential race? Given the level of childishness and disingenuousness within our political culture, I was reminded of a New York Times best-seller from 1986 by Robert Fulghum: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, a subversive take on the foundations of human maturity.
Yes, it was somewhat clichéd and sentimental, but clever, witty and substantially true at the same time. After all, clichés are considered clichés precisely because they hold at least a grain of universally acknowledged truth. Consider this opening salvo that gave the book its name:
These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
We’re not using Styrofoam as often as we used to, and I’m guessing the “Dick-and-Jane” books that taught a couple of generations how to read are no longer serving the same purpose for excellent pedagogical reasons, but the wisdom is not lost in translation. The essential building blocks of human flourishing are found right there at our beginning. The wonder is how difficult it seems to hang on to the lessons…