Opinion: Do stick together - even 6 feet apart


Last updated 7/14/2020 at 2:06pm

With all that is going on in our nation and our world — not to mention this brain-frying heat — I found myself turning this week to some wise words penned several decades ago by Robert Fulghum.

Fulghum, a beloved American storyteller and retired Unitarian preacher, wrote “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” as his personal credo, a statement that he honed over the years and first shared with his congregation.

Later, the story goes, he read it aloud at a primary school event, and it took off from there, eventually making its way to a “Dear Abby” column and into the pages of Reader’s Digest.

It was published in a book by the same name in 1986.

With a double handful of simple words, Fulghum recorded a list of basic life lessons that he noted were not found “at the top of the graduate-school mountain,” but rather “in the sandpile at Sunday School.”

“Share everything,” he wrote. “Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess.”

Of course, at the moment, we might be inclined to modify “share everything” to “thoroughly disinfect anything you might be sharing and if possible, find a duplicate version and share that instead.”

Fulghum couldn’t have imagined a future pandemic when he wrote “Wash your hands before you eat,” or he might have continued with “and after, and every other time you touch anything all day long.”

Given the climate of short-tempered grumpiness in which we humans seem to be wallowing, Fulghum’s guidance to “Take a nap every afternoon” may need to be our next executive order … no protesting allowed.

As for his recommendation that “Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you,” heck, yes. Sign me up.

Gluten free? Why not. Lactose-reduced milk? Whatever you need.

Fulghum’s 363-word essay concludes: “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.”

Well, of course, don’t go holding hands. And stay 6 feet apart. And put on a mask. You know the drill.

But do stick together.

That we must find a way to do.

Betty Williamson is napping by the air conditioner with her Fulghum books and, possibly, cookies. Reach her at:

[email protected]


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