Fifteen years ago, Robert Fulghum published a simple credo-a credo that became the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Now, seven million copies later, Fulghum returns to the book that was embraced around the world. He has written a new preface and twenty-five essays, which add even more potency to a common, though no less relevant, piece of wisdom: that the most basic aspects of life bear its most important opportunities.
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December 31, 1985
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Excerpt from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
To begin with, did I really learn everything I need to know in kindergarten Do I still believe that Here is the original essay, followed by my editorial reaction.
Each spring, for many years, I have set myself the task of writing a personal statement of belief: a Credo. When I was younger, the statement ran for many pages, trying to cover every base, with no loose ends. It sounded like a Supreme Court brief, as if words could resolve all conflicts about the meaning of existence.
The Credo has grown shorter in recent years ' sometimes cynical, sometimes comical, and sometimes bland ' but I keep working at it. Recently I set out to get the statement of personal belief down to one page in simple terms, fully understanding the na ' ve idealism that implied.
The inspiration for brevity came to me at a gasoline station. I managed to fill my old car ' s tank with super deluxe high-octane go-juice. My old hoopy couldn ' t handle it and got the willies ' kept sputtering out at intersections and belching going downhill. I understood. My mind and my spirit get like that from time to time. Too much high-content information, and I get the existential willies. I keep sputtering out at intersections where life choices must be made and I either know too much or not enough. The examined life is no picnic.
I realized then that I already know most of what ' s necessary to live a meaningful life ' that it isn ' t all that complicated. I know it. And have known it for a long, long time. Living it ' well, that ' s another matter, yes Here ' s my Credo:
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: