In Words I Wish I Wrote, Robert Fulghum reveals the works of writers who have inspired him. During the past four decades he's reviewed and revised the basic principles of his philosophy many times, sometimes as an exercise in personal growth, but more often in response to individual crisis. Then at fifty, seeking a simplicity to counter the complex thinking of his college years, Fulghum wrote a summary essay professing that all he really needed to know he learned in kindergarten. As he approached his sixtieth year, Fulghum became curious about what in his outlook had changed and what had endured.
On review, Fulghum explains, everything he has ever said and thought and written is transparent to him now. As hard as he has tried to speak in his own voice, much of what he's said is neither original nor unique. The best ideas are often old and are continually being revived, recycled, renewed. Wherever his search took him, Fulghum found that someone else has been there before. And more often than not, that person has chosen words Fulghum wishes he had written, using language he can't improve upon. To Fulghum, however, this isn't a discouraging realization. It's a recognition n of companionship, which is an affirming consolation.
The confirming statements, quotes, and credos that Fulghum recorded in his journals for years are collected here, representing the most important ideas underlying his living and thinking. They are organized thematically into such chapters as Companions, God, Bene-Dictions, Contra-Dictions, Simplify, and Believe. Each begins with Fulghum's own insightful, introductory words, followed by inspiring passages drawn from a diverse group of sources, from Jerry Garcia to Albert Camus, Dylan Thomas to Franz Kafka. At the end of each chapter, Fulghum offers readers his own personal commentary on the sources--where he was introduced to their words, why he returns to them again and again, and how they may change you.