“All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”

M. - Logan, Utah
Entered on December 6, 2007

Running, skipping, giggling, jumping, laughing, playing, rolling, smiling, and loving every single minute of it. An ordinary day at the park can change dramatically if you simply add a few children into the equation. They make me remember something that from time to time I seem to forget. Actually, I forget it so frequently that sometimes it feels like I’ve never even known what they help me remember. I believe kids know much more than we do.

What is it that they know that allows them to love more, laugh longer, play more, smile permanently, and relax longer? How are they always having fun? Everyone experiences moments of sadness, but children seem to overcome sadness much easier and return more quickly to laughter. Isn’t that one of life’s main purposes? I want to be having fun constantly! The sad thing is that whatever they seem to know, I always seem to forget.

My nephews and nieces love each other so much. When they see each other, the look on their faces alone fills me with complete joy. It’s like they’re glowing with happiness. Then, they do what they do best– enjoy life. Sometimes they will disagree or argue, but not only is it resolved quickly, it’s also forgotten almost immediately. They love each other wholly and completely. I wish I had that capacity to love and forgive others, especially those that have done wrong to me. It’s amazing to me how quick they are to forget the wrongs of others. Imagine a world like that. It would be truly marvelous.

The world is theirs to seize and create. I have had so many dreams just slip away from me like sand through my fingers. Once I was at the zoo, and as enjoyable as that was, the children around me seemed to be experiencing a completely different kind of joy. A small group of kids would see the different animals and then begin to act like them. There were little lions and monkeys running all over the place. Whatever they wanted to be real became real. To them, they weren’t acting like animals, they were animals. What if I could do that? What if I could see myself as anything I wanted to be and make it a reality? It just amazes me that their creativity and imagination knows no bounds. I want that. I want the world to be something for me to build and create and not just something I standby and watch happen.

I lived in the Philippines for several years and saw many things I’ve never even imagined. I’ve never met a more humble and fun loving people in my life, and none more than kids that lived there. You can literally say they own nothing, but their knowledge, the knowledge I can’t recall. Constantly, I would see them sharing with and caring for each other in ways never before expressed by mankind. The biggest sacrifice comes when you have nothing to give but you are still giving. There were a few hungry children I ran into and all I had to give them was a single piece of candy. I gave it to one of them fully expecting the lucky one to gloat in his glory and devour his candy. I was severely mistaken. What would have been a common reaction for an adult did not even passed through this child’s mind. Without hesitation, he split the candy and shared it with those around him and they all shared that moment and laughter together. I want to share like that.

If you’re regularly laughing and smiling, if you’re always loving and sharing, and if you’re habitually playing and relaxing, then is it really all that great to know the square root of four? I like to pretend I know a lot, but when I get the chance to be around kids I find that I know very little. They know so much more than I do. I want to laugh. I want to share and help others. I want to imagine and create. I want to love and forgive. I want to know what children know. I just forget so often, and when I’m reminded I can honestly say that I believe that all I really needed to know I learned in kindergarten.