One Foot

One Foot

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Rub Is, You don't Always Know Who

Several years ago, there was a series of greeting cards that used the message “What I know I learned from…..”  Each card gave a learning source – from my cat, my dog, my grandmother, the movies, etc. but my favorite has always been, “What I know I learned in kindergarten.”  There was also a book by Robert Fulghum with that same theme.

The knowledge gained from kindergarten certainly applies to adults.  Good examples of this are these wise rules,  “Don’t hit people…..Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone…..take a nap every afternoon.” 

The most important advice for me was, “When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.”  If only we could live our lives by that guideline.  I recall my early teaching days with five-year-olds new to school, and so unsure of their own safety.  With wide eyes, they held hands every time they left the classroom, and it proved to be a great comfort to them.

I envision that same guideline in use as we travel throughout our lives.  The events of our lives flow as a river in which we must survive the current.  When the force is minimal, the water is at our ankles and we move with strength. But when there is chaos or storm, the water rises to our knees or higher and can knock us off our feet.  That is when we need to all hold hands and stick together. If several of us join hands and steady each other, we can maintain our balance and the force is survivable.

Sometimes the frantic pace of life makes us believe we are fortunate if we can just keep our own heads above water, but we must remember how important it is to help others.  At this time of year, we send our graduating children and grandchildren off to summer jobs and college.  They may look brave, but they need to see our extended hands and know we plan to be there for them. The same extended hand needs to be offered to any who are embarking on a new adventure in life or facing times of trouble.

Trials are not just for the young.  We face them daily and throughout life.  

A particular line from Fulghum’s book reminds us that “You may never have proof of your importance but you are more important than you think.  There are always those who couldn’t do without you.  The rub is that you don’t always know who.”