Monday, November 08, 2004


I was reaching high on a bookshelf for one of the Transactional Analysis books I own from the seventies? eighties? both? (Eric Berne and his pupils), and spied the Robert Fulghum book, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten; Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things". I haven't re-read it in a long time, so I grabbed that too while I was in the dusty part of the shelf. I don't know what it was doing in that section, lying sideways and still with bookmarks in various passages. But opening it up and re-reading the opening and then the first couple of chapters, I remembered exactly why I liked this man's thoughts.

Most everyone probably knows the kindergarten part, or some of it anyway, though I will be tempted to quote it here in a day or so. But perhaps everyone doesn't remember the part where he is explaining how he would write a personal statement of belief every year, and decided to try to get it down to one page.

The inspiration for brevity came to me at a gasoline station. I managed to fill an old car's tank with super-deluxe high-octane go-juice. My old hoopy couldn't handle it and got the willies - kept sputtering out at intersections and belching going downhill. I understood. My mind and my spirit get like that from time to time. Too much high-content information, and I get the existential willies - keep sputtering out at intersections where life choices must be made and I either know too much or not enough. The examined life is no picnic.

I realized then that I already know most of what's necessary to live a meaningful life - that it isn't all that complicated. I know it. And I have known it for a long, long time. Living it - well that's another matter, yes?

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