About 25 years ago Robert Fulghum’s book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten became a best seller. The lessons he sited are inter-generational. They still hold value today. In fact, considering the state of our world, those lessons just might be worth revisiting. Following is an excerpt by Fulghum.
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.
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.”
Comments are welcomed.
Who knew? Certainly not me. Yet here I am sharing my apartment with Harold for a week. Who’s Harold? Harold is a royal blue colored Betta fish. He is bunked in with me while his permanent house-mates, my family, are away for the March break.
Harold, is not the name he goes by at the family’s. We had a getting to know you conversation. He thought it would be fun to have a pseudonym while he was on vacation, too. Harold was his first choice. The next day he wanted to try out Fred. So he was Fred for a day. On the third day he decided to stick with Harold. He thought Fred made him feel like a cartoon, while Harold had a more mature vibe.
It is worth mentioning how he even came to live with my granddaughter. It seems, a few months, ago K and a couple of friends stopped into a pet store while out for the afternoon. One of the girls purchased Harold. At the end of the day Harold was left at K’s house. Intentionally, if you ask me. Of course, my family adopted him. And, now he is staycationing with me.
Harold is a perfect guest. He keeps to himself, doing his own thing. He does not annoy me with endless inane chatter. There are no dietary demands. He arrived here with his own supply of blood worm flakes. Pretty gross, but they are his main source of sustenance. Oh, well. To each his own. He also seems to be agreeable to my TV choices. I haven’t heard any complaints or even requests for something of his preference. A bonus is that I don’t even have to clean up after him or do extra laundry. What more could one ask of a house guest?
My week with Harold is now coming to a close. My family is on their way home and will take him back. It’s been kind of fun having another living being in my apartment besides me. Especially one of such low maintenance. Harold and I haven’t always had the deepest of conversations. Who needs to be serious all the time, right? In a day or two I will have to bid him adieu. It’s been a slice. Swim on, Harold. Use that super power for good.
From the inception of the internet, WWW has stood for the World Wide Web. Recently WWW is looking like World Wide Wordle. I feel no shame in admitting my addiction to this super fun game. Thanks to Josh Wardle for creating it for his partner. It has turned into a gift to millions. That said, there is more to this blog than my obsession with 5 letter words. I’ve broadened my horizons to include a 7 letter word game. This latter challenge is the NY Times Spelling Bee. You are provided with 7 letters and a word quota. The idea is to come up with words from the given letters. The tricky part is that a designated letter must appear in every word. There are additional rules to the Bee, but unnecessary to elaborate here.
The point is these word games have become one of the big antidotes to my pandemic stress disorder. Like Dr. Seuss I love nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. My inertia-ridden brain cells have come alive again thanks to Wordle and the Spelling Bee. I don’t consider these games literally nonsense. They provide an enjoyable distraction for some of the hum drum hours in the day. They jump start creativity, imagination, memory and even a little silliness. All good.
It's also been said how these things are fun and fun is good. What kinds of things do you do to add a spark to your day? It can make a big difference getting through difficulties when we find a few moments to play, have a light heart and do something a little outside of the box. “Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. Other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” Douglas Pagels (If you are a Wordle fan you might be inclined to choose green. <3)
Comments are welcomed.
In a previous blog (May 2021) I wrote about Hygge (pronounced hooga), a Danish construct and practice of well being and happiness. Also mentioned was the Swedish construct for well being and happiness known as Lagom, or “just the right amount.” Recently, I learned about another such gem. People in Sweden and some other countries have a lovely custom to break up the workweek. It’s called lillördag, and it means little Saturday.
The custom started because historically, people who worked on farms or in homes as maids couldn’t take weekends off, so they had Wednesday evenings off instead.
These days, it’s a chance to take a midweek break and remind yourself there are only two more days before the weekend.
“You let yourself enjoy something. You can see people celebrating on social media. On Instagram, you’ll see a picture of a glass of Prosecco and some cheese, or ice cream, on Wednesday because people have a reason just to do it.”
Sweden has a national radio show that plays popular music on Wednesdays and a fairly big podcast that airs then. The music they play and the topics on the podcast connect to the mini-celebration.
Lillordag is a way to help stave off burn out and other life pressures that build up throughout the week. Seems to me a very cool practice to improve our health and well being. Hej då!*, weary Wednesdays!
*hej då! – Swedish for good bye. Pronounced hay do.