As I prepare to make 2024 the best lap around the sun yet, I spent the day reducing the number of unnecessary items in my home to create a more minimal living space.  

When I think about setting goals, making plans, and what I want to experience in life, it seems to revolve around humor, love, nature, art, listening to others, and following the golden rule as best as I can.

The more I explore the curiosities in my life, the more I find that the wisdom I admire the most gravitates toward a life of simplicity; here are a few examples:

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify! Simplify!” - Henry David Thoreau 

“Perfection is Achieved Not When There Is Nothing More to Add, But When There Is Nothing Left to Take Away” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.” — Albert Einstein

“How difficult it is to be simple.” - Vincent Van Gogh

"The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life; it's so easy to make it complex." - Yvon Chouinard

As I brainstormed ideas for ways to share my gifts in life and inspire others to share theirs, my Dad, who also happens to be a Hall of Fame high school tennis coach, came to mind. 

During our tennis season when I played for him, every year, he would hand out an excerpt to all of us on the team from a book by Robert Fulghum, All I ever needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten.   

I am sure that it still hangs in the men’s locker room at Thrush Courts in my hometown back in Indiana.  

The list is comprised of 16 things that we learned in Kindergarten.

  1. Share everything.
  2. Play fair.
  3. Don’t hit people.
  4. Put things back where you found them.
  5. Clean up your own mess.
  6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  7. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  8. Wash your hands before you eat.
  9. Flush
  10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  11. Live a balanced life - learn some, drink some, draw some, paint some, sing, dance, play, and work every day.
  12. Take a nap every afternoon.
  13. When you get out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  14. 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.
  15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  16. And then remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all, “look.”                                                                                                                                -Robert Fulghum

Keep an eye out for simplicity this year.



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