It’s good to be reminded by the sage: the little things, sometimes the most important, are found in the grains.

That sage happens to taste bleach. You see, he finds meaning in every grain possible.

He’s Robert Fulghum. He found the summary of answers in the sand pile. Our parents could not have been more right: the world is a much a better place with everyone cleaning his own mess and taking that much needed nap.

Here’s Fulghum’s full 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.


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.

Be aware of wonder.

Fulghum writes short essays. But it’s inadequate to put it that way. Many can write and move people. Rather, he savors his life, every bit of it, so that he’s able to fully realize its meaning—crumbs, rancid included. He accepts both with a light heart, forgetting to differentiate one from the other. He does not seem to get upset with the mundane affairs of life, the unfairness we tend to magnify. He has probably the most calm of spirits granted by the gods (aside from Alexander McCall Smith).

I envy him for seeing more out of tiny crevices of life, from washing his clothes to stashing a sweet, moldy box. I adore him for recognizing the value that each one of us has to offer—if only we know and act on it. I adore him for his curiosity; we are only limited by our imagination. And most of all for his weirdness that will make you crack up.

There are such souls.



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