Post-kindergarten lessons learned

Although I am not a kindergarten graduate, the title of Robert Fulghum’s “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” seems true.

One post-kindergarten rule I’ve discovered is women don’t like to be congratulated on their pregnancy unless they are pregnant.

Here are a few other post-kindergarten things I’ve learned:Wendel SloanBW 2011

• Don’t underestimate others.  Those who appear mild and meek are often the strongest. Their very quietness is a sign they don’t have to build themselves up.

• Don’t discount others because of their appearance. Impressive people come in all sorts of packages, and most people are impressive.

• Don’t think others don’t keep notes. Though our actions or words may never be mentioned, they are noted. Just as we grade others, we are graded. People keep score, and it can be shocking to find out even years later that we didn’t pass their test.

• Don’t forget that everyone has options. There was a reason others considered us special. When that reason disappears, they will not be far behind.

• Always listen. Don’t pretend; actually pay attention to the meanings and emotions behind others’ words. Hopefully, they will return the favor.

• Unless it’s a telemarketer, always respond. Treat others and their invitations, correspondence, calls and emails with the same promptness and courtesy you would if they were sitting on your living room couch. If you think others are rude for not responding, they will think the same of you.

• Don’t act arrogant about talent, looks or upbringing. Enjoy, nurture and share your gifts — but remember you did nothing to earn them.

• Don’t take moments for granted. When things are going well, others are usually the reason. Appreciate them.

• Never offer to buy something from a neighbor’s yard unless you know for sure they are having a garage sale.

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