Final Life Exam-Were You an Oxygen-taker or Giver?

Dear Reader:

What if… we all could ( invisibly ) attend our own funeral and watch the count of hands from every single person we met in life vote on if we 1) exhaled warmth, selfless giving, and generosity or 2) simply took up oxygen from earth with no return in exchange for our life… or more importantly, others! How do you think you would fare?

We would see the ” invisible ” people, gathered, the ones we encountered daily in our lives -perhaps the crossing guard at our children’s schools or the teachers who helped the children in and out of the car line-perhaps it was the quiet secretary at the back of the office we never got to know, the nurse who held our hand and squeezed it before our surgery, the child hunting for their lost dog or the plumber who ran late that you were waiting on to get to work. Every living person that you encountered during your tenure on earth. Based on your experience and time shared… even if only moments… what kind of impressions did you leave?

Pretty sobering thought… isn’t it? What category would we fall in… Did we simply use up precious air without giving back much in return for our trips around the sun or did we, truly, understand Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote: ” The purpose of life is not to be happy – it is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well. ”

Long ago Cicero wrote” Not for ourselves are we born?”

Charles Dickens also understood life’s purpose when he wrote: ” No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

” Fourteen year old Anne Frank understood the purpose of life when she wrote: ” No one has ever become poor by giving.”

Her thought lead me to this story….

Don’t we all seek that hidden place within us… that enables us to give without a moment’s hesitation on how the giving might affect us… that sacred place that is so all encompassing that we finally rid ourselves of man’s most destructive weapon -greed?

So until tomorrow… Aren’t we all guilty of telling our children or other family members, close friends -that all we want for them is to be happy? Happiness-at the expense of others is not true happiness-like Dickens observed- real happiness comes from giving to others of the talents God bestowed on us.

Today is my favorite days -Winnie the Pooh

To Jo and Colby-my Winnie the Pooh gals!
A little broken but hey it lets more light in that way-second morning glory

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 Final Life Exam-Were You an Oxygen-taker or Giver?

  1. Deb Clayton says:

    I certainly do agree that to give is to be happy within yourself.

    Just as a side note, if you have an Alexa, ask Alexa to play Pandora Bubblegum Oldies. You’ll hear the music we loved! You can ask her to play whatever flips your pancake! Kevin Kern, Jack Johnson, Nat King Cole, Beatles, Beach Boys, etc. She keeps my day ‘humming’.

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you-had not heard of it!!! Love all those tunes!!!!!😘 How are you feeling these days? Great I hope!!!!👍💗

      • Deb Clayton says:

        I feeling blessed and can breathe pretty good for one-lunger! LOL Hope you’re staying in feeling “pretty good” room with me! God is good.

      • Becky Dingle says:

        Like you Deb….have the good days and the “pretty” good days….and of course I get a scare occasionally and have to sweat out more tests….but such is life living with cancer…but the key word is LIVING!!!

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    So very truthful…and there is no better feeling than when you have seen the needs of others and truly cared by doing something for them…my Mother did this her whole life…love your garden pictures…fall is in the air…

  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    ❤❤❤…you too

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