As most of us try to comprehend how someone could commit such a horrific crime as was committed against Jessica Ridgeway, we also wonder how we keep our communities safe. A local police chief communicated, “We are committed to the safety of our community, and we cannot do this alone. We rely upon the partnerships and relationships we have with our community and that helps us do our job.” He also stated “Be an involved parent, neighbor, and/or friend and watch out for each other and our children.”
Which brings me to this excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s book (emphasis mine). Not to make light of the circumstances by any means, but if we really do pay attention to the advice below, our world could be so much safer. I know everyone on my street, and we all watch out for each other. Nothing gets by any of us – it’s like the old days when neighbors “told on” the neighbor kids when they did something wrong. If someone sees or hears something weird, we are calling each other. We all need neighbors like that again. A little more front-porch-sitting instead of backyard-hiding. For our kids’ sake. For our communities’ sake. For our sake….
All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum – an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. 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 sandpile at Sunday 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 into 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 of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing 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 into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
© Robert Fulghum, 1990. Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.