What Makes Us Happy Without…

Dear Reader:

I came across a little anecdote that made me pause and re-think happiness….with and without things.

The anecdote was titled: Socrates and the Market Place

True philosopher that he was, Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display.

When one of his friends asked why, Socrates said: “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”

Great thought. How many things am I perfectly happy without? I started to make a list.

  1. a new car (I have been fighting ferociously to keep my old Green Vue hobbling along for as long as it can and for as long as I can keep away from monthly payments, higher insurance and taxes.
  2. a new house (Slowly but surely I keep putting bandaids on my house periodically to keep it structure safe…because I love my home, neighborhood, friends, and garden….it is the place I have renovated over the years making it reflect who I am…it is the place I call home…my sanctuary, my happy place!)
  3. jewelry- (I love meaningful jewelry from friends or jewelry that holds memories…but   “diamonds” are not my best friend.)
  4. being rich- (I honestly don’t think I was made to be materially rich…because I would have had to give up too many more gifts more precious than money….creativity, perseverance, and knowing I am loved for who I am…not what I own.)
  5. more technology- (I really don’t like keeping up with the latest tech gadgets even if I could afford them…give me my old television with PBS, my old desk computer, my basic iPhone and I am perfectly satisfied.)

On the flip side…what I couldn’t give up….family, friends, and books

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy…it’s all that matters.”

“I believe tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

Audrey Hepburn



So until tomorrow…Whenever you feel happiness wash over you…stop and reflect on what has caused that feeling…was it a nice comment, an act of appreciation…Whatever it was…there were no dollar signs attached…simply feelings of belonging and acceptance. Financial gifts might make me feel relieved…but never the level of happiness as feeling loved.

“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.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What Makes Us Happy Without…

  1. bcparkison says:

    Amen to all. I find myself looking for ways to “do with out”. Yes I have missed out on some things…..but not really.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      “Not really” sums it up perfectly….having my old car still running…not beholden to a car loan provides a kind of financial freedom that more than makes up for all the quirks and jerks in the Green Vue!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.