May 15, 2008

Lessons From Kindergarten

Posted in Life tagged , at 9:25 pm by Lindsay

In the play “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”, based off the book by Robert Fulghum, there’s a scene where a teacher is asking a group of kids a series of questions.  When the teacher asks, “Who here can draw well?” the entire class emphatically raises their hands shouting “I can!” and “I’m a great artist!”  The children give the same response when the teacher asks “Who is good at sports?” and “Who here can sing really well?”  Then the kids disappear and are replaced with a classroom full of college kids.  When asked the same set of questions, only one or two raise their hands.  The others respond with statements like “That’s not my major” and “I’ve never taken lessons or anything”. 


For me, this scene illustrates a really interesting point about a difference in attitudes at different ages.  Obviously, as we grow older we develop a keener sense of our own talents when compared to others.  No, not everyone in the world can sing “well” or draw “well”.  But why should that stop our enthusiasm?


I’ve overheard people being recruited for the church choir say that they’re not a good enough singer to join the choir while expressing an enjoyment of singing.  Who cares if you’re not Renee Fleming??  If you have fun singing, sing!  Same thing with friends wanting to join the intramural leagues in college.  Gee, I really like to play basketball, but I’m not good enough to join a team, they say.  Who cares if you can’t make a three-pointer??  If you have fun playing basketball, play basketball!!


I think it’s tragic that when we age, we let our perception of standards inhibit us from enjoying things that we’re not especially talented at.  Think of all the fun we’re missing out on.  Think of all the experiences we’re missing out on.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that life isn’t always about being good or being the best, sometimes it’s just about enjoying ourselves.