In 2003, Robert Fulghum published a book called, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. If you haven’t read it (and you should), he gathered together a series of lessons that many of us were taught as toddlers, many of which continue to be true for us as adults and leaders. Here are a few excerpts from http://www.peace.ca/kindergarten.htm
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don’t hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
Wisdom comes in big and small packages and from expected and surprising places. Kindergartners. Pagan kings. Great prophets.
For the last four weeks, we have heard from Sirach, Wisdom, Jeremiah, and Isaiah on Sunday, teaching us the simple, yet challenging lessons of the wisdom of God. Humility was last week’s focus. The week before, with Jeremiah stuck at the bottom of a cistern, King Zedekiah recognized the truth and rescued him from his imprisonment.
What’s the common denominator? Biblical wisdom always seems to be about that first thing children learn — sharing. Or to put it in adult terms, selflessness.
Reread Sunday’s second reading from Philemon to better understand how Paul lives it. He sends his beloved companion whom he would like to keep by his side in his imprisonment, but in his own words, “but I did not want to do anything without your consent.”
On most days, wise leaders start with the rule of sharing–what is best for our customers, what is best for my parish, what is in the best interest of my children, my students, my staff?
As a leader, if your thinking began with these questions, how might the results differ? In what ways do you start from a position of openness, sharing what you have and know with others in order to meet your goals together?