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My Blog

Things I've learned since Kindergarten.

Many of you will remember the words of wisdom Robert Fulgham shared in his poem “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”  He offered some pretty sound advice about how simple life really is when you think about it.  I always liked that poem. 
But, there is so much more wisdom available beyond kindergarten – it’s just too rich a set of lessons not to pass them along. 
So since I left that kindergarten classroom back in the 1970’s I’ve spent the past thirty plus years collecting pieces of wisdom that have been handed to me by various people I trust for good advice.  It’s a living list that changes from time to time, but the nature of the list doesn’t change, call it ideas to live by.  I hope these ideas live beyond my years in the hearts and minds of the people I’ve touched, especially my boys, but that’s up to them.  That’s not to say I’m done collecting wisdom, I still have so much more to do and see; the list is never complete.
Here’s the advice I try to give to my three boys about what’s important in life and the rules they might choose to live by:
  • Believe in a higher power; I’m not saying which one, just believe and don’t apologize for it.
  • Finish what you start.
  • There is no motivation important enough that it should convince you to do something to someone else that you wouldn’t want done to you.
  • Get to know your cousins.
  • Thank Veterans for their sacrifice.  We all owe them big time.
  • Always be sincere – and more importantly authentic.
  • Live in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo or Beijing – you pick!  Bonus points for more than one.
  • Learn another language and find a way to use it.
  • Believe in something bigger than yourself.
  • Frequent flyer miles expire, memories of the world’s wonders last your lifetime, get out and explore.
  • Love Big.
  • Offer to help.
  • Ride on a bullet train.
  • Scuba dive.
  • Dance with your mother on wedding days and tell her how beautiful she is.
  • Start your own business.
  • Serve your country.
  • Never turn down a cupcake.
  • When the bus gets full, give up your seat.  Stand and be thankful you have healthy legs.
  • Learn to play an instrument and sing a love song out loud to someone.
  • Donate blood.
  • Work on a farm.
  • Read books like Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye and other books that have been banned – that’s the good stuff.  
  • Compete.
  • Learn to surf; learn to sail; learn to rock climb, but be safe.
  • Stick up for those who can’t stick up for themselves.
  • Pick something remarkable that you want to do or be – and then do it or be it.
  • Work hard.
  • Always stop at a lemonade stand. 
So, while kindergarten was a great place to learn, if you stopped learning there you'd miss way too much.  It's still important to remember to "play fair" like they taught us in Mrs. Carlson's class at Excelsior Elemenatry, but today when I am given the chance to offer advice, I like to summarize it in a phrase I hope to live my life by:   
  • Live well, have fun, love big… repeat as necessary.   
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-- Mark Twain

5 Comments to Things I've learned since Kindergarten.:

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This is such a fun post. Love the fact that you mentioned everything in bullet pointers. These are so essential to know and pratice, thanks for sharing.
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