Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All i Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Last week i was asked to speak in front of the graduating Kindergarten Students of Pulo Elementary School. It was as if slipping backward in time recalling how my childhood days have been spent in school. Funny as it may seem, but i didn't go to kindergarten during those days. I was six when i was enrolled straight to Grade 1 in Buntog, a barangay nestling at the foot of the Palace in the Sky, where you can reach through its long travel of rough roads passing through the vast sugarcane plantation (then owned by Yulo Clans to which was latter sold to Ayala clans) far away from the hustle and bustle of the urban life. When my dad took his vacation from overseas work, he decided to transfer me to Pulo Elementary School in my third grade so my sisters could look after me as well.

And so this guest speaker thing has gotten so into me. I have attended and even facilitated seminars for student leaders, assisted children's parties, wrote speeches for the presidents and chairmen, but to speak in front of these kindergarten students... i was deliberately thinking how in the world would i be able to get their attention and be able to infuse some sparks of wisdom in their young minds.

There's this credo that i truly love from Robert Fulghum's book "All i Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"


All I really need to know about how to live 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 sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
….Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life …..
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. ….
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all - LOOK.


It may seem so basic, and i decided to dig into this in front of these Kindergarten Students. A simple run-down of the things that were taught to them in their early studies, a simple reminder of the basic virtues that they have to continue in order to be successful. Fundamentals explained in a language a small child would remember and understand. And my talk went on for no less than five minutes.

Isn't it amazing how what we have learned in our early days comes up again and again as we live our complex lives? Did we really understand and practice what we were taught in our first year of school?