01: Be Kind


by Elaine Cotoner

In this book, author Robert Fulghum says that all we need to know to become upstanding citizens of the world were already taught in preschool. We just need to apply these lessons to our adult problems.

The Rules: 

  • 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 some and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday 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.

Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians returned everything where they got it? Or if those slobs in the public toilets would flush for once; I didn’t need to see that, thank you very much.

This is not a self-help book. It doesn’t have chapters on how to flush or wash your hands. Rather, it’s a collection of short, uplifting essays about Robert’s neighbors, his barber, his wife, and all the other people in his life.

The biggest takeaway is not in any of his kindergarten lessons, but in the way he chooses to see the world. Instead of focusing on the global crises, he looks to the little good things that make his life happier. Because in the end, you give power to what you pay attention to.

“You will continue to read stories of crookedness and corruption—of policemen who lie and steal, doctors who reap where they do not sew, politicians on the take. Don’t be misled. They are news because they are the exceptions. The evidence suggests that you trust a lot more people than you think. The evidence suggests that a lot more people believe that. A recent survey by Gallup indicates that 70 percent of people believe that most people can be trusted most of the time.”

The best way to summarize this book is a quote by Mother Teresa, a woman Fulghum admittedly can’t stand (but respects all the same.)

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

So breathe and read about the good things. Better yet, do a good deed yourself.

Get this book:

I’m giving this book away. For a chance to win it, answer this question in the comments section:

Which rule would you apply this week? 

If you win, you have cover the shipping costs (from Metro Manila, Philippines.) 🙂

The winner will be chosen at random (completely at random. Pleads of friendship will not work!) and announced next week.

4 thoughts on “01: Be Kind”

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