More from and about
Robert Fulghum
(biographical info at bottom of page)


Don't worry that children never listen to you;
worry that they are always watching you.


I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. 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.
What I notice is that every adult or child I give a new set of Crayolas to goes a little funny. The kids smile, get a glazed look on their faces, pour the crayons out, and just look at them for a while.  The adults always get the most wonderful kind of sheepish smile on their faces--a mixture of delight and nostalgia and silliness. And they immediately start telling you about all their experiences with Crayolas.

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. 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.
Think what a better world it would be if we all--the whole world--had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
    And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Above all, if what you've done is stupid, but it works, it ain't stupid.

Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away.  Most of this ďsomethingĒ cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted.  Itís what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours.  Memory.  The census doesnít count it.  Nothing counts without it.


Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts.


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The heart will turn to a prune if love is always by the numbers.
How will you know if someone really loves you if they
only meet your expectations and not your needs?


I do not want to know what you will hope for. I want to know
what you will work for. I do not want your sympathy for the
needs of humanity. I want your muscle. As the wagon driver
said when they came to a long, hard hill:  "Them thatís going on
with us, get out and push. Them that ainít, get out of the way."


I often say that I don't worry about the meaning of life--I can't handle
that big stuff.  What concerns me is the meaning in life--day by day,
hour by hour, while I'm doing whatever it is that I do.  What counts
is not what I do, but how I think about myself while I'm doing it.


Author Robert Fulghum has published seven best-selling books:  All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It, Uh-Oh, Maybe (Maybe Not), From Beginning to End -- The Rituals of Our Lives, True Love and Words I Wish I Wrote.  There are currently more than 16 million copies of his books in print, published in 27 languages in 103 countries.

Fulghum has performed in two television adaptations of his work for PBS, and is a Grammy nominee for the spoken word award.  He has been a speaker at numerous colleges, conventions, and public events across the United States.  He has been a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist.  His writing has been adapted for the stage in two theater pieces:  All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas.  There have been more than 700 national and international productions of the plays.

Robert Fulghum was born in 1937, and grew up in Waco, Texas.  In his youth he worked as a ditch-digger, newspaper carrier, ranch hand, and singing cowboy.  After college and a short career with IBM, he returned to graduate school to complete a degree in theology.  For 22 years he served as a parish minister of Unitarian churches in the Pacific Northwest.  During this same period he taught drawing, painting, and philosophy at the Lakeside School in Seattle.  Fulghum is an accomplished painter and sculptor.  He sings, and plays the guitar and mando-cello.  He was a founding member of the authors' collective rock-and-roll band, the Rock-Bottom Remainders.

Fulghum has four children and seven grandchildren.  He lives in Seattle, Washington, and on the Greek island of Crete.


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.


Other people: 

Alan Watts
- Albert Einstein - Albert Schweitzer - Andy Rooney - Anne Frank
Anne Morrow Lindbergh - Anne Wilson Schaef - Annie Dillard - Anthony Robbins
Ari Kiev - Artur Rubenstein - Barbara Johnson - Benjamin Disraeli - Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Hoff - Bernie Siegel - Bertrand Russell - Betty Eadie - Booker T. Washington
Charlotte Davis Kasl
- Cheryl Richardson - Cristina Feldman - C.S. Lewis - the Dalai Lama
Dale Carnegie - Dawna MarkovaDeepak Chopra - Don Miguel Ruiz - Earl Nightingale
Elaine St. James - Eleanor Roosevelt - Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross - Ralph Waldo Emerson Emmet Fox - Frederick Buechner - George Bernard Shaw - George Santayana
George Washington Carver - Gerald Jampolsky - Harold Kushner
Harry Emerson Fosdick - Helen Keller - Henry David Thoreau - Henry James
Henry Van Dyke - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Henry Ward Beecher - Hugh Prather
Immanuel Kant
- Iyanla Vanzant - Jack Canfield - James Allen - Jennifer James - Jim Rohn
Joan Borysenko
- Joan Chittister - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - John Izzo John Ruskin
Joni Eareckson Tada
- Joseph M. Marshall III - Julia Cameron - Kent Nerburn
Khalil Gibran Leo Buscaglia - Leonard Jacobson - Leslie Levine - Lucinda Bassett
Lydia Maria Child - Lynn Grabhorn - Marcus Aurelius - Marianne Williamson
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Maya Angelou - Melody Beattie - Michael Goddart - Mitch Albom
Mohandas Gandhi
- Morrie Schwartz - Mother Teresa - M. Scott Peck - Nathaniel Branden
Nikos Kazantzakis
- Norman Cousins - Norman Vincent Peale - Og Mandino - Oprah Winfrey
- Orison Swett Marden - Pau Casals - Peace Pilgrim - Phillips Brooks
Rabindranath Tagore
- Rachel Carson - Rachel Naomi Remen - Rainer Maria Rilke
Ralph Waldo Trine - Richard Bach - Richard Carlson - Robert Frost - Robert Fulghum
Robert Louis Stevenson
- Russell Baker - Sarah Ban Breathnach - Shakti Gawain
Soren Kierkegaard - Stephen Covey - Stephen C. Paul - Sue Patton Thoele - Susan L. Taylor
Sylvia Boorstein - Thich Nhat Hanh - Thomas Carlyle - Thomas Kinkade - Thomas Merton
Tom Walsh
- Victor Cherbuliez - Wayne Dyer - Wilferd A. Peterson - Willa Cather
William James - William Wordsworth - Zig Ziglar - Rhonda Byrne - Neale Donald Walsch
Carl Jung
- Desmond Tutu - Paulo Coelho - Jon Kabat-Zinn - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Walt Whitman