Robert Fulghum

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Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had?
Henry James
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My convictions have validity for me because I have experimented with the compounds of ideas of others in the laboratory of my mind. And I've tested the results in the living out of my life.

Robert Fulghum (born 4 June 1937) is an American author, primarily of short essays. He has worked as a Unitarian minister (at the Edmonds Unitarian Church in Edmonds, Washington amongst other communities), artist, and teacher as well. He came to prominence in the US when his first collection, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986), stayed on the New York Times bestseller lists for nearly two years.

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I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — That myth is more potent than history. ... And I believe that love is stronger than death.
  • I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge —
    That myth is more potent than history.
    I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts —
    That hope always triumphs over experience —
    That laughter is the only cure for grief.
    And I believe that love is stronger than death.
I make art in and for the experience itself — to satisfy a need to express myself in a creative, colorful, non-verbal way.
  • I don't do art to address other people but to address myself. I've never done art with a thought of being a professional artist who makes a living by selling his art. I've never had a commercial show in a gallery. I suppose I'm like those who write poetry or songs without seeking publication. I make art in and for the experience itself — to satisfy a need to express myself in a creative, colorful, non-verbal way.
The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
  • The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
    • It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It (1988)
  • For all my good intentions, there are days when things go wrong or I fall into old habits. When things are not going well, when I'm grumpy or mad, I'll realize that I've not been paying attention to my soul and I've not been following my best routine.
    • "Pay Attention" in Handbook for the Soul (1995) edited by Benjamin Shield
  • The older I get, the more I realize the importance of exercising the various dimensions of my body, soul, mind and heart. Taken together, these aspects give me a sense of wholeness. I want to be a whole human being rather than one who limps on one leg because I don't know how to use all of my parts. Intellectual, emotional, and physical activity are not separate entities. Rather, they are dimensions of the same human being.
    • "Pay Attention" in Handbook for the Soul (1995) edited by Benjamin Shield
  • My convictions have validity for me because I have experimented with the compounds of ideas of others in the laboratory of my mind. And I've tested the results in the living out of my life. At twenty-one, I had drawn an abstract map based on the evidence of others. At sixty, I have accumulated a practical guide grounded in my own experience. At twenty-one, I could discuss transportation theory with authority. At sixty, I know which bus to catch to go where, what the fare is, and how to get back home again. It is not my bus, but I know how to use it.
    • Words I Wish I Wrote (1997)

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File:Q 2008-06-04 Robert Fulghum.ogg
To insist on one's place in the scheme of things and to live up to that place.
To empower others in their reaching for some place in the scheme of things.
To do these things is to make fairy tales come true.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986)

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things ISBN 0449908577
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.

Robert Fulghum : Philosopher King

Interview, "Robert Fulghum : Philosopher King" by Linda Richards at January magazine

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