I have spent the last couple of weeks cleaning up. An astrologer friend suggested it as a way to manage Mercury going retrograde, and I thought it sounded like a good idea. After shredding years of old bank statements and bills, I have finally gotten around to the books. Uh-oh. This is going to take a while!
I have mostly non-fiction on my shelf. I have to thank my friend Susan for inviting me to join a book club some time back because I've rediscovered the rewards of reading fiction and now have more of those. I've read a lot on the topics of spirituality, living and dying, relationships, philosophy, and what I might call mystical science -- Carl Sagan, Carl Jung, David Eagleman, Ken Wilber, Fritjof Capra.
There's a lot more, too. Poetry. Kids' books. Old text books. So, Goodwill is going to get a lot of books soon because I need the room. Time to clear out. One book that I came across -- and will donate so someone else can benefit -- is the simple classic by Robert Fulghum, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." You probably have heard of it. After this chaotic week in the U.S. and the frightening prospect of a contagious virus spreading across the globe, it was a fortuitous find.
Among the tenets of Fulghum's credo there are a few that we might all reinterpret now, such as:
Play fair (as in don't hoard toilet paper)
Clean up your own mess (cough or sneeze into your elbow)
Wash your hands before you eat (and a lot more now)
Maybe the advice to hold hands when you cross the street needs to be modified for now, but the main point is simple: We learned most of what we need to know now when we were very young (and you still need to look both ways). However, we also had someone to look after us and keep us safe. Now, that part is up to us. So, do the right thing -- you already know what that is. And maybe you can add some grown-up things, like:
Turn off the screens (an hour a day will tell you everything you need to know, and a real emergency will set everyone's phone off at once)
Check on your neighbors (especially if they're older or live alone)
Slow down (read more, walk more, sit outside more)
Wash your hands (again)
It's going to be a long haul, America. We need each other. Be kind.