Pre-school education relates to education for retirees. What, you ask? Yes, pre-school/kindergarten education is a lubricant for older ages, including education for the senior set.
You may know the book by minister Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I recalled this book recently when I was a monitor at a symposium for day-care home providers and preschool/kindergarten teachers. I have been on the planning committee for this annual event for many years. It is a joy to spend a day with early childhood caretakers and teachers who have hearts of immeasurable gold (despite their lack of much gold in paychecks).
What are the pearls of learning for both ends of the life spectrum? Check out Fulghum’s wisdom (pages 6-7):
“Most of what I really need to know about how to live — and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday school. These are the things I learned: 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.”
“…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. 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. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.”
Preschoolers initially need to learn to feel safe, find a sense of belonging, and explore their creativity. These are issues for individuals decades later in facing retirement years–feeling safe in one’s environment, sharing belongingness (with family, friends, and significant groups), as well as using precious time for exploring creative dreams.
I gave a talk at a public library recently where I found retirees who were eager to live lives of meaning but some felt stymied in reaching even basic goals. There is much loneliness and untapped talent among retirees.
The British government addressed social isolation in appointing its first Minister of Loneliness in 2018. Why is our ageist culture not more proactive in promoting purposeful retirement possibilities?
Pearls of Peace (PoP) Quiz
165. How might you engage your creativity more?
166. What play and work do you choose every day?