Weaving Our Lives into Others

Dear Reader:

Yesterday… I answered my last question for StoryWorth. It asked: ” What is one final message you want to leave for your grandchildren and great grandchildren?”

My response was personal and meant for the generations coming after me but I did use the message in the title stone photo. It is so true that ” Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

More and more I hear mother’s words and expressions coming out of my mouth. When I look in the mirror sometimes I catch a glimpse of mother looking back. We are our mothers’ daughters.

We always hope our children and grandchildren will take the best we had to offer or at least the funniest and interweave it into their own unique personalities.

If I had to choose one physical attribute for them to use daily-it would be a smile. A smile can do more to turn a day around than anything else… not just to the person smiling but to colleagues and strangers alike.

As a young teacher I heard a motivational speaker tell a room full of first year educators that the most important ” tool ” a teacher possesses is a smile.

A teacher might not realize that certain students sitting in his or her class come from dysfunctional-even abusive homes-and that a teacher’s smile might be the only smile they receive all day.

I never forgot that message. I normally smile a lot but I remembered to produce, at least one, in every class every day… no matter how challenging.

Mollie told me I needed to send a picture for the cover of my album and suggested an early one when I was just starting out in life with my dreams still intact about my future life.

So I went back through yearbooks and found this picture! I had just finished student teaching and Brooke and I were going to room together in Charleston where we both got teaching jobs. ( in Summerville)

When I reflected on this photo it symbolized Hope …and excited expectations about the future.

Oh the places you’ll go!”

So until tomorrow… “Sometimes grace is a ribbon of mountain air that gets in through the cracks.” – Anne Lamont’s

” 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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7 Responses to Weaving Our Lives into Others

  1. Beverly Dufford says:

    What a beautiful smile on a beautiful person, inside and outside! I, too, remember how excited I was the first day of school so many years ago, and I’m sure I must have had a big smile. In fact, every first day of a new year of school, I had that same excitement! Even now as I write this and remember that feeling, I find myself smiling. Although I understand the science behind masks and know they are helpful, one of the things I miss most is seeing that smile on someone else’s face or being able to share mine. However, there is a lady who runs the Bundt Cake store, who has the most contagious smile, and even with a mask, her whole face lights up with her smile. I told her the cakes were delicious, but I would come in there just to see her eyes smiling at me.

    • Becky Dingle says:

      You are right…I can still see and especially feel a warm, radiating smile through a mask,,,a smile appears as twinkles in the eyes…and the eyes are windows to the soul, Thanks for your kind words – your responses Jo always life my spirits!

  2. Janet Bender says:

    I love this truth! I once had a professor at Winthrop who encouraged me by saying I had a nice smile so I’d do OK in the classroom. It’s true even now. We lead a chapel service at local retirement home where a couple of the residents wear a constant, pretty smile in spite of their many aches, pains & suffering. Their smiles always brighten my day!

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Isn’t it nice to know that smiles transcend masks and happy people send out an aura of joy and smiles that automatically make those around them respond with their smiles and gleeful eyes!

  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    Love it…and love seeing smiling faces…

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