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Let the Healing Begin?

Disclaimer: This blog represents the opinion of the author and does not reflect the position or policies of the Utah Commission on Aging or the University of Utah.

No that’s not a typo.  The question mark is there for a reason. In light of events of the past week, namely the historic election we all witnessed, I’m cautiously hopeful. 

Hopeful that our country can begin to heal from the toughest four years I can ever remember in my 70 on this planet. 

Hopeful that divisiveness, acrimony, name-calling, fear, bullying, and threats can be replaced with kindness, understanding, compassion, civility and cooperation.

I’m not a political person.  I shun politics.  I’m not a government expert.  To be honest, I can’t really tell you what the current administration has accomplished.   I’m shamefully unknowledgeable about the current state of governmental affairs on a national or local level.  All I know is what I hear and what I see.

I hear anger, accusations, and threats on all sides.  I see fear and unrest at all levels.  I see people out of work, and a killer pandemic that has taken over the world.  A microscopic organism is in charge.  We better take it seriously.  We haven’t so far. 

Do I have the answers?  Certainly not.  Fortunately, there are smarter people than me working on things. But here’s a suggestion:  maybe we should go back to the basics in our approach to finding solutions. Way back--to kindergarten.   I’m talking about the approach to life iterated in Robert Fulghum’s masterpiece “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.”

It’s so elegantly simple it brought tears to my eyes rereading it.  My suggestion to everyone: read it again.  As a reminder, here’s an excerpt from the book that encapsulates his credo:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat. Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Wonder.

Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.”

Beautiful.  It’s all there.  Everything we need to know.  We just have to apply it.

Thank you, Robert Fulghum.  

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Last Updated: 5/28/21