Taking a Moment to Thank George Washington!

Dear Reader:

The history teacher in me wouldn’t let me walk out of Walgreens Tuesday without a copy of this special Time magazine…featuring our Founding Fathers. Before leaving for the July the Fourth family gathering in Mt. Pleasant yesterday afternoon,  I relaxed and read most of the articles in it. (*I confess I am a history nerd.)

Two thoughts jumped out at me (after reading the articles)…two explanations as to how miraculously this country was created. Timing and George Washington...a man adored and revered his entire life. (Unanimously elected President twice…this has never been repeated.)

A man who could have stayed President until his death, but he turned it down and explained why terms should be limited for fear of too much power promoting a dictator or king….exactly what we had fought against.

Stepping down voluntarily from such a powerful leadership role had never happened before….other monarchs, royalty and self-imposed dictators watched (open-mouthed) in true amazement… waiting for some kind of political ploy to reveal itself…it never did. George Washington just went quietly back home to Mt. Vernon…the place he loved the most in the world, and voluntarily disappeared out of the limelight.

*Washington was the “rarest of creatures, the indispensable figure who declared himself disposable.

“The Founders’ signature achievement, the United States Constitution, is endlessly invoked-most times, one suspects, by people who haven’t read a single word of it, save for scraps of the Second and Fifth amendments. 

The phrase, “What the Founding Fathers intended” rips off the tongues of politicians, pundits, and other partisans, typically adapted for their own purposes and, perhaps, without the faintest notion of-well… what the Founding Fathers really intended.”

Where I, personally, see Divine Intervention, in the creation of the country I love and adore, is in the amazing assembly of talent and intellect, whom we call our Founding Fathers. “The Founders weren’t saints, but they were visionaries who created a radically new form of self-government.” 

What is even more amazing is that this group was made up of aristocratic, educated men, who did believe in a nation where its citizens were allowed the personal freedoms we take so for granted today.

“To be sure they were awesome-in the real sense of the word, a remarkable roster of talent. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, James Madison and a deep bench of other visionary thinkers all at the same time.”

No one could have planned such an assembly of brilliance and forethought…arriving all at the same time in history? Coincidence or a God Wink? “The brilliance of their thought, the creativity of their politics and their ability to combine the two have been without equal.”

(*Just think about the timing here….with the exception of Lincoln…we had only mediocre Presidents in succession following the early Founding Father Presidents….can you imagine a James Buchanan or a Millard Fillmore stepping up to the plate to create a new nation? Timing really is everything!)

As one can only imagine with the Founding Fathers, however…(with such genius in one room)….ego’s ran amuck of many issues. Thankfully, amid this divisiveness,  and fortunately this nation was blessed with a supremely magnetic and unifying figure in the form of George Washington.

“In our cynical and polarized age it’s almost impossible to imagine someone so universally admired.”

Historian Joseph J. Ellis wrote:

“If there was a Mount Olympus in early American history, Washington stood at the top, and all the rest of the founders were scattered further down the slope.”

It was Washington’s “benevolent humility” that made him a magnet and role-model for others to follow…though most have fallen far short.

One last “Washington” thought I will leave everyone with today to ponder…“Washington also believed leaders should hover above petty political squabbles and instead play the long game, eyes only focused on the national interest.”

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“Natural” Decorations for the Fourth!

For me the meaning behind the freedoms bestowed on us…have been reflected in the giving and receiving of gifts from my neighbors. It started with Vickie bringing me the best tomatoes of the season yet…they melted in my mouth! Someone at the club brings them weekly and she received some that were left over and shared with me.

Susan and her young son Davis, rang the doorbell Monday night and Davis had helped his mom make me a little apple tart. It was so sweet…both the giving and the wonderful taste….delicious!

Then Tuesday afternoon I ran over two pre-July the 4th “picnic” plates filled with chicken salad sandwiches, pickles, fruit, chips, and a cookie for Luke and Chelsey, for helping me with  replacing high ceiling recessed light bulbs and nursing some of my ailing plants back to good health.

So until tomorrow…I hope everyone had a wonderful day and took a few minutes to thank those who went before us…and thank those who live beside us!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Memories of July 4 2018! It rained most of the morning but cleared up yesterday afternoon just in time for all the festivities. Another family gathering that puts smiles on a proud grandmother’s face!

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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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4 Responses to Taking a Moment to Thank George Washington!

  1. bcparkison says:

    Becky, You have wonderful good friends and neighbors because you are one back to them.
    Look at thoes eyes! That is one beautiful baby girl. Looks like a fun time was had by all.

    Like

  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Thanks for the reminders of Washington and other great men who risked it all to establish this country. Just look at how much many of the signers of the Declaration lost, but even if many didn’t live to enjoy it, so many have since. I have the old movie channel on my TV, and spent several hours watching movies about the Revolution. Truly we are blessed. Your family pictures are so great. I can see your influence in so many of them. May God continue to bless you and all of us, and may we always remember those who risked it all so that we can enjoy our freedom. (You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the love of history out of her heart.)

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I do think about the courage it took to sign that Declaration…it was a death sentence if we had lost the war and most people would have put their bet on Great Britain at that time.Hope you had a wonderful Fourth!

      Like

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