I believe that everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten. Share, play fair, tell the truth, say “sorry”, don’t take what isn’t mine, and don’t eat the macaroni before it’s cooked. Thinking back to my simpler kindergarten days, I realize that the past ten years of learning do not come close to measuring up to that one significant year.
Some days logarithmic equations and the difference between “ser” and “estar” seem to be the most important things in the world. Next week it’s all about elements of literature and the Cold War. Yet, one month into summer vacation and much of this information has vanished, but what never leaves me are all those skills achieved before elementary school. Sure I have learned lots of valuable information throughout my lifetime, but nothing compares to the “treat others the way you want to be treated” simplicity of a kindergarten education.
Imagine how many less colds I would suffer if I washed my hands before every meal, while singing “happy birthday.” How much more peaceful would I be if I took a nap every afternoon? How much more enjoyable would school be I got to paint with my fingers?
As yet another year of school flies by and graduations come and go, I’ll always remember the catchy little song my friends and I sang ten years ago at our kindergarten graduation. Wearing my favorite green dress, with the puffy sleeves and shiny flower, before my tomboy days, when my mom could still dress me with ease. The catchy little tune began with the truest words of all, “All you need to know you learned in Kindergarten.”
Today’s newspaper headlines talk about Clinton bashing Obama, McCain criticizing Giuliani, everyone attacking Bush, yet these are the leaders of our Nation. What have they learned from their kindergarten education and what are they teaching to today’s kindergarteners? I know, like these leaders I criticize and put others down. I punch my sisters, and on occasion I may tell a white lie or two. My things aren’t always returned and sometimes, when I’m really hungry, I even eat a raw noodle. Before making a large decision, however, I glance back to the lyrics scribbled on that crinkled paper. The golden rule was written there in fragmented verse making it easy to remember. The answer to all my questions summarized into less than ten words. Would I want someone to hit or pass judgment on me? For that same reason I try my best to think before casting others down.
In kindergarten it was the memorable rhythm that caught my attention, but as I grow up the words to that simple song have gained meaning. As I continue my schooling and go on to college, there will be days when I think I cannot retain any more information. Formulas and definitions will fade over time, but these simple values will remain engraved in my memory forever. I may not follow these values all the time, but I will never stop believing that everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.
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