Become a Lake…

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Dear Reader:

As I was searching through my old electronic files yesterday, I came across an anecdote that made me pause and reflect; The name of the story is:

“Become a Lake”

An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice
returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter,” spit the apprentice.

The master then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake nearby. Once the apprentice swirled
his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man.
At this, the master took the young man’s hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain
in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in.

So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of self, of being . “STOP BEING A GLASS. BECOME A LAKE.”


Haven’t we all heard the advice: “Become bigger than your problem.” It sounds good but  most times this is easier said than done. I have learned, the hard way, that once I have stretched as big as my vertically challenged body can stretch (with no solutions still in sight)…then it’s time to call in the One Entity Who is always bigger than our problem: God.

Aren’t problems always lessened when we talk to family or friends about them and get some advisory options to pursue? Instead of just “me” against the “giant” problem, it is now “we.” What a sense of relief it is to go into combat with friends who have our backs.

Now if we could just understand that God is beside us to guide us….and in us…to hear us….than suddenly we finally understand that  God is everywhere and  we are never alone in facing any obstacles.

I like this “a-ha” moment J.D. Salinger shared once during an interview.

I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up tall…. It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean. ~J.D. Salinger,

So until tomorrow….we don’t need to drink salt from a glass or a lake….we just need to know that God is in everyone and everything…which includes our problems. If we get right with God…no problem!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* I went to see Rainey Bernhardt yesterday, the matriarch of Dorchester Presbyterian Church, who is undergoing various therapies at the Presbyterian Village. When I couldn’t find her in her room, an aide took me to the physical therapy room and there was my gal.

Rainey was supposed to be untying knots from a long, thin rubber tube….she was struggling so I told her to start at one end and I would start at the other. Dog-gone if that exercise didn’t about do me in….when I finally got the last knot out even the therapists were cheering. Glad I don’t have physical therapy every day…I think I would fail the course!

IMG_1482Rainey is so popular… folks from the church keep wandering in looking for her….including Mike and Dee Lesko. (bringing her a bright gerber daisy.) Look at that smile on Rainey’s face…what a trooper!

I was so embarrassed that my cookies I brought her had crumbled but her roommate happily exclaimed: “At our age crumbs are easier to eat than whole foods…we will just take turns holding the bag up and gulping them down.”

Now there’s a gal with a big container for problems!

IMG_1483***As you begin planning your weekend’s activities ….check out our own Anne Peterson’s THE PRE- SPOLETO: SHOW & TELL. Tomorrow (Saturday) from 4-8 at Anne’s home in Walnut Farms. Four artists are displaying their beautiful paintings: Anne, Helen Beachan, Susan  Baughman, and Donna Boerema. Paintings of all sizes and subject matter will be offered.

Enjoy light refreshments and some munchies. Location: 131 Scalybark Road, Summerville, SC 29485.

Do stop by and see all the talent these gals have in store for you!

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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2 Responses to Become a Lake…

  1. Anne Peterson says:

    Here’s another way of looking at the glass that is half full or half empty…it still depends on God reminding us to set the glass down! (I couldn’t find the link, so I took a photo – initially saw it on FB)


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