Saturday, March 08, 2003

I have final exams starting in one week, so I apologize in advance for what may be sporadic posting during the upcoming week while I (attempt to or at least pretend to) study. lol. Please make du’a for me, everyone! I will appreciate it much. :)

The following passage has been at the back of my mind for some time, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the book and author, so this evening I finally went hunting through my stuffed-to-the-max bookcase and tried to pinpoint it. Here you go… Read and reflect. The very last paragraph sums it up really well…

From It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, by Robert Fulghum (author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten):

A friend doesn’t like the essay “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Says it’s nice as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. Thinks it should go beyond “nice.”

He’s right. There are things I learned—and needed to learn—that were not taught in primary school. Teachers and adults would never tell you these things. Oh, they knew them all right, but they would never tell you they knew. You had to find them out for yourself, or from your friends…

Here’s the tough part of what I know now: that the lessons of kindergarten are hard to practice if they don’t apply to you. It’s hard to share everything and play fair if you don’t have anything to share and life is itself unjust. I think of the children of this earth who see the world through barbed wire, who live in a filthy rubbled mess not of their own making and that they can never clean up. They do not wash their hands before they eat. There is no water. Or soap. And some do not have hands to wash. They do not know about warm cookies and cold milk, only stale scraps and hunger. They have no blankie to wrap themselves in, and do not take naps because it is too dangerous to close their eyes.

Theirs is not the kindergarten of finger paint and nursery rhymes, but an X-rated school of harsh dailiness. Their teachers are not sweet women who care, but indifferent instructors called Pain, Fear, and Misery. Like all children everywhere, they tell stories of monsters. Theirs are for real—what they have seen with their own eyes. In broad daylight. We do not want to know what they have learned.

But we know.

And it ain’t kindergarten stuff.

The line between good and evil, hope and despair, does not divide the world between “us” and “them.” It runs down the middle of every one of us.

I do not want to talk about what you understand about this world. I want to know what you will DO about it. I do not want to know what you HOPE. I want to know what you will WORK FOR. I do not want your sympathy for the needs of humanity. I want your muscle. As the wagon driver said when they came to the long, hard hill, “Them that’s going on with us, get out and push. Them that ain’t, get out of the way.”