Another Look at Being Kind…

Dear Reader:

Last weekend when Eva Cate spent the night with me she had a moment of homesickness that coincided with bed time. I am afraid she has inherited her “Boo’s” (“When the crickets’ start a-chirping’ I start a’ crying“) syndrome.

I am very sympathetic since I suffered badly from homesickness…it plagued me most of my childhood…so I take it quite seriously in others. For Eva Cate, it just means listening to her sob about how much she misses her mommy, daddy, Jakie, and Tigger. I rub her back and remind her that she will see them the next day and by the same time tomorrow night she will be right there with them.

It worked, like it always does. Eva Cate was out like a light. (And Boo followed about five minutes later!) The thing that I am amazed at with Eva Cate is that she knows when it starts coming over her and what she needs to do about it (lots of air…a fan in her face if possible) human contact, and deep breathing exercises…she mutters to herself “I must calm down now…I must calm down now.” (In a sense she is already self-healing…)


While we were waiting on a pizza over the weekend…Mr. Rogers’ advice on kindness flickered in my memory so I told Eva Cate to remember that the three most important things to hold on to as she grew up…was to remember to: “Be kind, be kind, be kind.” She responded that sometimes boys and girls at school weren’t kind to her and I told her that this didn’t matter…she was to be kind back, regardless. Over time things would probably change…or if not, she knew she was doing right and that was all that mattered.

Guess what came yesterday in the mail. Phillip Keller’s (Lynn Gamache’s father) book titled: A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit. 

As I started reading it…suddenly, a God Wink…a special section on looking at kindness differently popped up. Keller compared people who were religious and some who were not…some who were believers, and some who were not, and realized that there was about the same amount of equal kindness among both groups.

But there is a difference between the two…a very important difference…that requires faith.

As God’s children we should understand that “Our kindness should be of such a quality that we can even love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, pray for those who despise and persecute us. In so doing we demonstrate that we truly are His people.” 

As proud Charlestonians, Americans, and World Citizens didn’t we witness this spiritual level of kindness right here in our own lowcountry? When a disturbed young man  shot and killed nine parishioners, from the Emanuel AME Episcopal Church, during a Wednesday night evening study, the perpetrator’s thoughts of starting a race riot were soon dashed-by the reactions of the grieving families. And what unexpected reactions they were!

(I couldn’t help but think he must have felt just like the Grinch…”Christmas came anyway???” )

As we watched in “amazing grace” the sequences that followed,  we witnessed what kindness, forgiveness, and redemption really were. I remember thinking how could these family members stand there and forgive this young man for killing their loved ones in cold blood?…I witnessed, like thousands and /or millions of others, what this spiritually deeper type of  kindness (Phillip Keller in his book) describes.

Sunday of Unity…following the Wednesday night killings at the Emanuel AME church…people of all races, backgrounds, and religions joined hands on the Ravenel Bridge to show their unity to the fallen citizens of Charleston.

Keller admits that to reach this level of kindness and understanding, “calls for courage.” It means that we understand not everyone will return our kindness, in fact, we might be snubbed or scorned and our “best intentions misunderstood and misconstrued.”

Keller’s last paragraph in this section is my favorite: “When the good seed of God’s own life germinates and takes root in the soil of our souls we give up our little games of playing ‘tit-for-tat’ with others. No longer do we show love to get love back. No longer are we kind in order to be complimented and thought well of. We no longer give for what we can get. Those days are done-those tactics are terminated. Selfish self-satisfaction is no longer the mainspring of our actions.”

So until tomorrow…Let’s hope our seeds are planted deeply to provide the sustenance we need to dig deeper to find the courage to show others the type of kindness God wants us to extend to others.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Updates:

I really like this remark/memory Dee shared on the blog post comments about mirrors and seeing our real selves.

Reading your post today about the mirror brought back a memory to me of yesteryear! Some years ago, a teacher for our Adult Sunday School Class shared this comment with all of us: “We all tend to compare our insides with the outsides of others.” His remark has always stuck with me, because…When I look into a mirror, I see not only a mere reflection of myself; I can also see “inside” me. But, I cannot see “inside” others. Sometimes, I need to remind myself of that. Amen! Dee

*I came across this photo today and it is one of my favorites. As most of you know Rutledge “Ding-Truck” loves trucks (and today super heroes.)

When Lachlan was born just over two years ago…we all held our breath to see how Rutledge would react to his new baby brother…especially with sharing his trucks. We soon found out! 🙂

 

 And speaking of the grandchildren…look what I found under my sofa pillows when I changed the seasonal throw quilt yesterday and was tucking it behind the seat cushions. Three “snowballs” from Marcia and Bruce Christmas Eve. How about it? A snowball fight at the Easter Egg Hunt??? Let’s do it!

Happy Birthday Doodle! The Matriarch of the Dingle Clan is having a benchmark birthday this year…which is only fitting since Doodle is a benchmark for all of us every day of the year!

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Another Look at Being Kind…

  1. I was the MOST homesick child! I made all my friends cry because I would leave sleepovers in the middle of the night to go home. You probably couldn’t ask my parents to count the times they picked me up at 2 and 3 am. There is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed. I certainly was a momma AND daddys girl. To this day I’m a homebody, and it takes a little bit of effort to make myself get out of my comfort zone. I like that EC is learning to self soothe so early! That’s great. I probably missed out on some things by not sleeping over, and I’m sure my friends quit inviting me! haha. Oh well, sigh.

    I DID LOOOOOVE to sleep with my sister and my parents. However, my sister had very strict bed sharing rules which I did not abide by as a small child, which included wearing your panties to bed (oh excuse me, I guess that’s “tmi”).

    I also do remember I would stay with my mamaw (my dads mom), and she would give me a bath in her colored tub, with a special bath pillow, and then (even when I got a little too big) she’d lotion me up, and powder my bottom. Ahhhh to be pampered. Sweet mamaw.

    Just had to share my cute sleepover memories. Maybe we can have a sleepover one night with all the dingle ladies 😉

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      That would be fun! Good idea! A summer spend the night-over!!!! Appears homesickness runs in the family…but it does mean that we love our families so much it is hard to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

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