Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten


I learned a very important lesson during my days in kindergarten. A lesson that has application to every area of life. Hopefully I have learned it well and can always remember it. Consistent application is the key.

I went to an afternoon kindergarten class that was about 2 or 3 blocks away from home. I usually walked both ways. One beautiful day my mom told me that I needed to hurry to school or I would be late. She instructed me not to delay on my way. I tended to be a relatively obedient lad, so I walked quickly to the school.

About half way there I came upon a girl about my age who was riding her bicycle in the street. As we were passing by each other she fell onto the road. It was not a vicious fall, but she was crying pretty hard. She looked up as I was walking by and asked through her tears ‘Can you help me?’

As I considered the situation, the thought came to me – this is just like those stories they tell in primary! What should little Eric do? Deep down inside I knew what I should do. But instead I said, ‘I can’t help you. I’m going to be late for school.’ And off I marched, leaving the girl crying in the road. Quite a guy huh?

I had about a block and a half to walk and think about this event. I knew I had chosen wrong. At a five year old level I realized that I had let blind obedience get in the way of following the spirit. I had let duty get in the way of doing the right thing. As I went down the steps that lead to my class I resolved that I was always going to do what I felt was right, regardless of what anyone else said. Even if it was my mom.

As I have reflected on this experience, I have realized that at that moment I was not much better than those who passed by the robbed and beaten man in the familiar parable of the good Samaritan. Perhaps they were late for a meeting themselves. I have not worried myself to much about this because I was only five and not yet to the age of accountability, so as far as I can see this sin is may parents problem  Sorry mom and dad. You know how it is. I have my own little no-accounts!

Doing what you feel is right regardless of the circumstances is not always easy. I hope I can always stick to the resolve I made that important day on my way to kindergarten.

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2 Responses to “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”


  1. 1 C Jones March 8, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    Eric- Thanks for this post- uplifting, positive, and charming as usual!
    It reminds me of my favorite Spencer W. Kimball story- the one where he helps the pregnant lady in the airport.

  2. 2 Eric Nielson March 8, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks CJones,

    Nice to have you drop by again.

    Yes, I’m a lot like President Kimball. Except in this case I don’t actually help anybody, I just knew that I should.


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