Tag Archives: “But where do the mermaids stand?”

Kindergarten can teach us much

Recently I reread the original edition of Robert Fulghum’s book “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten”.

I first heard one of the stories from this book when it was read to me in an Accelerated Learning course. The story was called “Where do the mermaids stand?”

It was a story which spoke to me and it was one I often read to women in self awareness and self esteem courses I ran.

So what is it about Robert Fulghum’s writing that appeals to me, that speaks at times profoundly to me and which can cause me to nod slowly in agreement with him or to laugh out loud with him?

He is interested in quirky things; he comments on the ordinary things in life; he laughs at his own quirks, idiosyncrasies, habits, beliefs and behaviours and in some way makes allowances for the reader to have the same bumbling, complex humanness.

He finds value and enjoyment in the great diversity amongst us all. He reminds us that we are all simply trying to get on with life in the best way we know how; he is keen on opening and easing the mind and in so doing expands the heart.

He offers some very simple observations around what makes us extraordinary people and some really simple guidelines that help make life work.

I really like his style, approach and attitude and it is with interest that I learnt from his website that in 2003 the 15th anniversary edition of this book was released. Fulghum has revised and expanded the original essays. The preface is new and there are 25 new stories in it, all of which tell us that ordinary events can hold universal insights.