137+ Best Robert Fulghum Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Robert Lee Fulghum is an American author and Unitarian Universalist minister. Fulghum is an accomplished painter and sculptor. He sings, and plays the guitar and mando-cello. He also was a founding member of the authors’ collective rock-and-roll band, “Rock Bottom Remainders”. Inspirational Robert Fulghum quotes will help you gain understanding and make the very best out of your life.

If you’re searching for most inspiring authors quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Harlan Ellison quotes, witty Dorothy Parker quotes, and powerful James Baldwin quotes.

Most Famous Robert Fulghum Quotes

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. – Robert Fulghum

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. – Robert Fulghum

We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love. – Robert Fulghum

We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box. – Robert Fulghum

It’s harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really want for Christmas is just this: I want to be 5 years old again for an hour. I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot. I want to be picked or rocked to sleep in someone’s arms and carried up to be just one more time. I know what I really want for Christmas: I want my childhood back. People who think good thoughts give good gifts. – Robert Fulghum

I once listed all the good things I did over the past year, and then turned them into resolution form and backdated them. That was a good feeling – Robert Fulghum

But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby, and wonders shall never, ever cease. – Robert Fulghum

The point is that getting married for lust or money or social status or even love is usually trouble. The point is that marriage is a maze into which we wander – a maze that is best got through with a great companion. – Robert Fulghum

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. – Robert Fulghum

Is it always to be a winners-losers world, or can we keep everyone in the game? Do we still have what it takes to find a better way? – Robert Fulghum

The Sikh gave him the money. When Menon asked for his address so that he could repay the man, the Sikh said that Menon owed the debt to any stranger who came to him in need, as long as he lived. The help came from a stranger and was to be repaid to a stranger. – Robert Fulghum

To look this way is to see. To see is to have vision. To have vision is to understand. To understand is to know. To know is to become. To become is to live fully. To live fully is to matter. And to matter is to become light. And to become light is to be loved. And to be loved is to burn. And to burn is to exist. Off and on. – Robert Fulghum

So you drive as far as you can, even when you can clearly read the sign. You want to think you are exempt, that it doesn’t apply to you. But it does. Life is still a dead end. And we still have a hard time believing it – Robert Fulghum

My goal now is to dance all the dances as long as I can, and then to sit down contented after the last elegant tango some sweet night and pass on because there wasn’t another dance left in me. – Robert Fulghum

If dandelions were rare and fragile, people would knock themselves out to pay $14.95 a plant, raise them by hand in greenhouses, and form dandelion societies and all that. But, they are everywhere and don’t need us and kind of do what they please. So, we call them weeds and murder them at every opportunity – Robert Fulghum

Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens…. My grandfather would say we’re part of something incredibly wonderful – more marvelous than we imagine. My grandfather would say we ought to go out and look at it once in a while so we don’t lose our place in it. – Robert Fulghum

Even the finest workman needs to inspect his work critically. – Robert Fulghum

Only an open mind still has room for new knowledge. What is outgrown and used up must be discarded to make room for what is yet to be learned. And much of the best thinking is done alone-in deserts, on beaches, in bed, behind closed doors. It is why we say we need to get away-to escape from clutter and busyness-to hear ourselves think. – Robert Fulghum

Sometimes, when asked the what-do-you-do question, it occurs to me to say that I work for the government. I have a government job, essential to national security. I AM A CITIZEN. Like the Supreme Court judges, my job is for life, and the well-being of my country depends on me. It seems fair to think that I should be held accountable for my record in the same way I expect accountability from those who seek elected office. I would like to be able to say that I can stand on my record and am proud of it. – Robert Fulghum

Water is everywhere and in all living things; we cannot be seperated from water. No water, no life. Period. Water comes in many forms – liquid, vapor, ice, snow, fog, rain, hail. But no matter the form, it’s still water. – Robert Fulghum

I talk about very serious human affairs but with a lightness of heart. – Robert Fulghum

Life is lumpy. And a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in a breast are not the same lump. One should learn the difference. – Robert Fulghum

Never forget that music is too important to be left entirely in the hands of professionals. – Robert Fulghum

I know what I really want for Christmas. I want my childhood back. Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of or hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy. – Robert Fulghum

Sometimes during the day, I consciously focus on some ordinary object and allow myself a momentarypaying-attention. This paying-attention gives meaning to my life. I don’t know who it was, but someone said that careful attention paid to anything is a window into the universe. Pausing to think this way, even for a brief moment, is very important. It gives quality to my day. – Robert Fulghum

Sometimes history knocks at the most ordinary door to see if anyone is home. Sometimes someone is. – Robert Fulghum

Anything can happen. The great banana peel of existence is always on the floor somewhere. – Robert Fulghum

Only now have I finally realized that my life has been an unending field trip. And I have tried hard not to be a tourist. But to be an adventurer, a traveler, an explorer, a learner, and a pilgrim. – Robert Fulghum

Arguing whether or not a God exists is like fleas arguing whether or not the dog exists. Arguing over the correct name for God is like fleas arguing over the name of the dog. And arguing over whose notion of God is correct is like fleas arguing over who owns the dog. – Robert Fulghum

We are the only creatures that both laugh and weep. I think it’s because we are the only creatures that see the difference between the way things are and the way they might be. – Robert Fulghum

Love is the grand prize and the garbage heap. Love is a spiritual root canal and the only thing that makes life worth living. Love is a little taste of always and a big bite of nothing. And love is everything in between these extremes. – Robert Fulghum

If I don’t have time to live my life well the first time, when am I going to find the time to go back and live it over? – Robert Fulghum

Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will break our hearts. – Robert Fulghum

Hide-and-seek, grown-up style. Wanting to hide. Needing to be sought. Confused about being found. – Robert Fulghum

Anything not worth doing is worth not doing well. – Robert Fulghum

Speed and efficiency do not always increase the quality of life. – Robert Fulghum

I’ve always thought anyone can make money. Making a life worth living, that’s the real test. – Robert Fulghum

For thirty years now, in times of stress and strain, when something has me backed against the wall and I’m ready to do something really stupid with my anger, a sorrowful face appears in my mind and asks…Problem or inconvenience? I think of this as the Wollman Test of Reality. Life is lumpy. And a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same lump. One should learn the difference. – Robert Fulghum

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? – Robert Fulghum

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 lifeday by day, hour by hour, while I’m doing whatever it is I do. What counts is not what I do, but how I think about myself while I’m doing it. – Robert Fulghum

Play fair. Don’t hit people. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. – Robert Fulghum

Wherever and however any one of us may be conceived, it is the same. We come into being in the arms of God. – Robert Fulghum

Everything we can imagine becomes real. – Robert Fulghum

I’ve always made a clear distinction between making a life and making a living. – Robert Fulghum

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. – Robert Fulghum

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A Beauty Bomb. And every time a crisis developed; we would launch one. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination. – Robert Fulghum

Any fool can make enough money to survive. It’s another thing to keep yourself consistently entertained. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of fun, to make a life. – Robert Fulghum

My own movement of thought is not meant to be a straight point-to-point, linear line of march, but horizontal exploration from one area of interest to another. There is no ultimate destination – no finish line to cross, no final conclusion to be reached. It’s the way I feel about dancing – you move around a lot, not to get somewhere, but to be somewhere in time. – Robert Fulghum

Desire is the intangible quality that has more impact on success than talent, education, or IQ. You can’t see desire, but you can feel its presence, and see its results in the lives of successful people. – Robert Fulghum

I and you-We are infinate, rich, large, contradictory, living, breathing miracles-free human beings, children of God and the everlasting universe. That’s what we do. – Robert Fulghum

These are the things I learned: 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. Wash your hands before you eat. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw some and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day. Take a nap every afternoon, and, when you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. – Robert Fulghum

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. – Robert Fulghum

All I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten. Share everything … Don’t hit people … Clean up your own mess. – Robert Fulghum

One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference. – Robert Fulghum

Making a living and having a life are not the same thing. Making a living and making a life that’s worthwhile are not the same thing. Living the good life and living a good life are not the same thing. A job title doesn’t even come close to answering the question. What do you do?. – Robert Fulghum

Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this something cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it. – Robert Fulghum

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. – Robert Fulghum

I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have – I can reflect light into the dark places of this world – into the black places in the hearts of men – and change somethings in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life. – Robert Fulghum

Even if your watch is full of diamonds the hour is still 60 minutes – Robert Fulghum

Ignorance and power and pride are a deadly mixture, you know. – Robert Fulghum

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. – Robert Fulghum

Life is. I am. Anything might happen. And I believe I may invest my life with meaning. The uncertainty is a blessing in disguise. If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way. But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease. – Robert Fulghum

It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake-sale to buy a bomber. – Robert Fulghum

Love is a fabric which never fades, no matter how often it is washed in the water of adversity and grief. – Robert Fulghum

If someone were to ask me whether I believed in God, or saw God, or had a particular relationship with God, I would reply that I don’t separate God from my world in my thinking. I feel that God is everywhere. That’s why I never feel separated from God or feel I must seek God, any more than a fish in the ocean feels it must seek water. In a sense, God is the ocean in which we live. – Robert Fulghum

It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do. – Robert Fulghum

You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who. – Robert Fulghum

I believe it is in my nature to dance by virtue of the beat of my heart, the pulse of my blood and the music in my mind. – Robert Fulghum

The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are. – Robert Fulghum

Life-and-death. Lifedeath. One event. One short event. Don’t forget. – Robert Fulghum

If you want an interesting party sometime, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone. – Robert Fulghum

Children are sent to school to be civilized, to learn to be part of the social enterprise. – Robert Fulghum

You are free to give life meaning, whatever meaning you want to give it. – Robert Fulghum

I fear the boredom that comes with not learning and not taking chances. – Robert Fulghum

Share everything. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Put things back where you found them. – Robert Fulghum

The winding down of summer puts me in a heavy philosophical mood. – Robert Fulghum

I think my writing is part of my ministry. – Robert Fulghum

I don’t think there is a hidden purpose to the universe that you have to puzzle out. – Robert Fulghum

To be human is to keep rattling the bars of the cage of existence, hollering, ‘What’s it for?’ – Robert Fulghum

My secret agenda is to convey my values to my kids. – Robert Fulghum

I wanted to be a citizen of the world but not in a superficial way. – Robert Fulghum

Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away. – Robert Fulghum

When you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together – Robert Fulghum

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? – Robert Fulghum

I was 23 when I came to Bellingham in 1960 – from Mars, they must have thought. I’ve always had a very sentimental feeling about the importance of that first ministry in my life. – Robert Fulghum

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – look. – Robert Fulghum

I’d like to speak a foreign language well enough to get the jokes. I’d like to talk with Socrates, and watch Michelangelo sculpt David. I’d like to see the world as it was a million years ago and a million years hence. – Robert Fulghum

To ponder is not to brood or grieve or even meditate. It is to wonder at a deep level. – Robert Fulghum

Then he read the words of the scroll slowly, first in Japanese and then carefully translated into English: ‘There is really nothing you must be. And there is nothing you must do. There is really nothing you must have. And there is nothing you must know. There is really nothing you must become. However. It helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet…’ ‘Whatever, there are consequences. Nobody is exempt,’ said the master. – Robert Fulghum

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. – Robert Fulghum

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. – Robert Fulghum

If you do not join the dancing you will feel foolish. So why not dance? And i will tell you a secret: If you do not join the dance, we will know you are a fool. But if you dance, we will think well of you for trying. if you dance badly to begin and we laugh, what is the sin in that? We will begin there. – Robert Fulghum

And good neighbors make a huge difference in the quality of life. I agree. – Robert Fulghum

And I’m not confused about the lack of, or the need for, imagination in low or high places. We could do better we must do better. There are far worse things to drop on people than crayolas. – Robert Fulghum

Remember, most of us got something for nothing the first time just by showing up here at birth. Now we have to qualify. – Robert Fulghum

To understand our love, they’d have to turn the world upside down – Robert Fulghum

If you notice phrases, ideas, and anecdotes that closely resemble those that appear elsewhere in my writing, it’s not a matter of sloppy editing. I’m repeating myself. I’m reshuffling words in the hope that just once I might say something exactly right. And I’m still wrestling with dilemmas that are not easily resolved or easily dismissed. I run at them again and again because I am not finished with them. Any may never be. Work-in- progress on a life-in-progress is what my writing is about. And some progress in the work is enough to keep it going on. – Robert Fulghum

I get tired of hearing it’s a crummy world and that people are no damned good. What kind of talk is that? I know a place in Payette, Idaho, where a cook and a waitress and a manager put everything, they’ve got into laying a chicken-fried steak on you. – Robert Fulghum

You will continue to read stories of crookedness and corruption – of policemen who lie and steal, doctors who reap where they do not sew, politicians on the take. Don’t be misled. They are news because they are the exceptions. – Robert Fulghum

Always trust your fellow man. And always cut the cards. Always trust God. And always build your house on high ground. Always love thy neighbor. And always pick a good neighborhood to live in. – Robert Fulghum

And sure, I know if you eat this way you’ll die. So? If you don’t eat this way you’re still going to die. Why not die happy? – Robert Fulghum

As one old gentleman put it, Son, I don’t care if you’re stark nekkid and wear a bone in your nose. If you kin fiddle, you’re all right with me. It’s the music we make that counts. – Robert Fulghum

The gift was not large as money goes, and my need was not great, but the spirit of the gift is beyond price and leaves me blessed and in debt. – Robert Fulghum

The Indian danced on alone. The crowd clapped up the beat. The Indian danced with a chair. The crowd went crazy. The band faded. The crowd cheered. The Indian held up his hands for silence as if to make a speech. Looking at the band and then the crowd, the Indian said,Well, what’re you waiting for? Let’s DANCE. – Robert Fulghum

Liberation, I guess, is everybody getting what they think they want, without knowing the whole truth. Or in other words, liberation finally amounts to being free from things we don’t like in order to be enslaved by things we approve of. Here’s to the eternal tandem. – Robert Fulghum

Just when you thought that you already learned the way how to live, life changes – and you’re left the same as you begun. – Robert Fulghum

But love may have to be left off the exam. Most of us will never learn. – Robert Fulghum

The leaves let go, the seeds let go, and I must let go sometimes, too, and cast my lot with another of nature’s imperfect but tenacious survivors. – Robert Fulghum

You feel like an ant contemplating Chicago. – Robert Fulghum

Clean up your own mess. – Robert Fulghum

I believe in dancing. – Robert Fulghum

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 that’s going on with us, get out and push. Them that ain’t, get out of the way’. – Robert Fulghum

A giraffe has a black tongue twenty-seven inches long and no vocal cords. A giraffe has nothing to say. He just goes on giraffing. – Robert Fulghum

There is nothing in your budget for joy. No books, no flowers, no music, not even a cold beer. And there is nothing in your budget to give away to someone else. We don’t help people who don’t have better values than you do. – Robert Fulghum

Imagination is more important than information. Einstein said that, and he should know. And they come. And they look. And we push. And they fly. We to stay and die on our beds. They to go and die howsoever, yet inspiring those who come after them to find their own edge. And fly. – Robert Fulghum

Why is love easy? I don’t know. And the raccoons don’t say. – Robert Fulghum

But it does no good–solves nothing–to distance myself from the front lines of human need by using the mail as a safe shelter. I believe that serving the best ends of humanity means getting out in the middle of it just as it is, not staying home writing checks and thinking hopeful thoughts. The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are. And you’re damned right that’s idealistic. No apology. When idealism goes into the trash as junk mail, we’re finished. – Robert Fulghum

Once you know where the roller coaster is going, are you in for the ride? – Robert Fulghum

If you tell people you talk to God, they’ll think you’re religious, but if you say God talks to you, it’s ten to one they’ll think you’re crazy. – Robert Fulghum

It is the chair in honor of all those who, however competently, embrace the impossible. Sit in that chair someday. – Robert Fulghum

Above all, if what you’ve done is stupid, but it works, it ain’t stupid. – Robert Fulghum

We even make ourselves up, fusing what we are with what we wish into what we must become. I’m not sure why it must be so, but it is. – Robert Fulghum

If only the scientific experts could come up with something to get it out of our minds. One cup of fixit fizzle that will lift the dirt from our lives, soften our hardness, protect our inner parts, improve our processing, reduce our yellowing and wrinkling, improve our natural color, and make us sweet and good. – Robert Fulghum

The name is not important anymore – it’s the tone that counts. I feel like an old dog I know. He will come to any name you call him, just so long as your demeanor carries with it the promise of affection and food – Robert Fulghum

All of these are names given me by other people, but not names I would have given myself. My name is not mine, it’s theirs. It’s a series of costumes put on my life by other people. – Robert Fulghum

Everyone has doors in the living room of their lives that they assume are locked. Doors that lead to artistic expression. People say I have no talent — I can’t dance or sing or paint or write poetry or play an instrument. More often than not the doors are not locked, just closed. One may turn the handle, open the door and pass through into a larger life space. – Robert Fulghum

Almost anything can be dealt with if people are of good will and light hearts and strong values. – Robert Fulghum

If you can’t find the exact quote you want, make it up. – Robert Fulghum

The kindergarten children are confident in spirit, infinite in resources, and eager to learn. Everything is still possible. – Robert Fulghum

The best feelings in your life come when you start feeling good after you’ve been feeling just awful – Robert Fulghum

Weddings seem to be magnets for mishap and for whatever craziness lurks in family closets. In more ways than one, weddings bring out the ding-dong on everybody involved. – Robert Fulghum

I love this child. Red-haired – patient and gentle like her mother – fey and funny like her father. When she giggles, I can hear him when he and I were young. I am part of this child. It may be only because we share genes and that therefore smell familiar to each other…. It may be that a part of me lives in her in some important way…. But for now, it’s jellybeans and ‘Old MacDonald’ that unite us. – Robert Fulghum

It’s not that I’m not grateful for all this attention. It’s just that fame and fortune ought to add up to more than fame and fortune. – Robert Fulghum

If we could just figure out how to have more fun at it, maybe more of us would join the ranks of those who seek after justice and mercy. – Robert Fulghum

Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. – Robert Fulghum

Doing a straight-forward, clear-cut task that has a beginning and an end balances out the complexity-without-end that often vexes the rest of my life. Sacred simplicity. – Robert Fulghum

Now everybody has some secret goals in life. – Robert Fulghum

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