Stick Together

29 November 2013
11:52 PM
Manila

M.–

Here are five things that I’ve been holding on to this year, things I believe to be true:

  1. That perhaps on a regular day, everything I know does not compare to everything I don’t know. That sometimes I might not really know anything after all.
  2. That hurt can be overcome but grief is a different entity entirely, and takes longer, and sometimes there is no moving past it. That being happy doesn’t mean you forget grief, only that you learned how to be happy even if loss is a reality of your life.
  3. That poetry saves.
  4. That I am not as strong as I used to be, or think I used to be, and that’s okay. That vulnerability is good, and might even lead to wonderful things.
  5. That trying and failing is definitely better than thinking about trying.

And here is something from an old book, which I still believe in after all these years:

Credo by Robert Fulghum

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.

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 your 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 about three o’clock every 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 into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum

Goodnight,
T.

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