When Fullness is Emptiness and Emptiness is…?

Dear Reader:

For a long time I never really understood the adage ” Fullness is Emptiness.” I have only recently realized the important meaning hidden in these three words.

And sometimes it takes an old fairy tale to bring it to light. Einstein was right when he said….

I tried to connect as many fairy tales to historical events as possible…and even have my students search for the perfect fairy tale to match an historical event in American History. ( Sadly… so many eighth graders had never heard the basic fairy tales or been read to at night… even back in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and millennia. I remember being completely shocked!)

In a recently revised fairy tale a king had every treasure anyone could possibly want – but none of them made him happy. He kept waiting for that one magic treasure / that present that would fill him with happiness and joy!

Then one day he heard of a mysterious old woman who lived in the mountains and made the most beautiful quilts ever imagined-they brought immediate joy to each lucky recipient.

Immediately the king sent his soldiers to find her and bring her to the palace. But when she heard his request she turned him down -she only gave her quilts to the poor and homeless.

The king was furious but she stuck to her guns… even with her life in danger! She told him that the only way she would create a quilt for him would be if he gave away all his treasures to the poor.

Finally the king caved and slowly realized that the more he gave away to his poor subjects the lighter he felt… as if a burden had been lifted from his shoulders.

By the time the magical old woman presented him his quilt he had no treasures but instead the love of all his villagers. … And that made him happy and filled with joy!

The older I get… the more I want to simplify my life by ridding the house of ” stuff” I don’t need-but someone else does.

So until tomorrow… ” When fullness is Emptiness… emptiness is HAPPINESS! “

” Today is my favorite day ” Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to When Fullness is Emptiness and Emptiness is…?

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Good Wednesday morning, Becky,
    Good post today (as usual!). I wanted to comment on the saying of Albert Einstein. I have a son who said he thought fairy tales and nursery rhymes were stupid; thus his three children did not get the benefit of hearing them – unless they were with me and I would read them. But, as they grew older, of course, they didn’t want to listen to fairy tales! It always saddened me to have him say that, b/c he was read to and I always included the fairy tales and nursery rhymes when I could. I just really believe what Einstein said about them.
    But, what can you do? They’re “only” my grandchildren and I don’t get to see them often.
    Trust all’s well in the ‘ville! We’re having warmer days with cool nights and my vegetable and flower gardens are thriving! We’re heading to western MA at the end of the month and I’m looking forward to that!
    Much love, peace, and hugs!

    • Becky Dingle says:

      It is amazing that the farther we get away from fairy tales…the more our children tend to struggle with decisions honoring basic human traits of morality and conduct…because they don’t have a foundation from childhood giving them examples of what happens if evil is left alone to grow like a cancer or when honesty is the best policy or forgiveness turns cold hearts around. But you are right…there should actually be a course implemented in basic reading using fairy tales like the English children used to study moral lessons from morality stories at school. Have a great trip Sis! :).

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    When I was working on my Master’s one of my classes was Children’s Literature and the professor from USC said that Grimm’s Fairy Takes were not meant for children….kinda explained how gruesome some of them were …but there was a lesson in each one…

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Exactly. Gin-g and who do we have to think for taking the “grim” out of the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales…Walt Disney…back in the late twenties and early thirties of the 20th century…and now it is hard to imagine the fairy tales as they once were…yet the kindness, forgiveness, courage, bravery, friendship, and love themes overtook the harsh reality of the original tales…which were created to save the ancient homeland language/culture from threatening tyrants who wanted to assimilate the Grimm Brothers homeland histories into their own…thus being lost forever.

  3. Marcia says:

    Yes! Much to be learned and remembered from Fairy tales!!
    Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts.

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