The Wisdom of Proverbs

Dear Reader:

From the Bible to ancient cultures around the world proverbs bring palatable morsels of wisdom.. Or as the dictionary defines:

Definition of proverba short, well-known saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice. 

More importantly than knowing several proverbs to pull out on the right occasion is the actual act of living the proverb. Grandmother Wilson didn’t just recite proverbs about decency and good sense, she lived by them. There is a big difference.

One of my favorite proverbs is the one I selected for the title photo: “Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but by the number of people who smile at you.” African Proverb

How many times have you entered a room…not wanting particularly anyone to notice you (negatively or positively) but simply to embrace your presence with smiles of friendship and acceptance? Isn’t that the true definition of beauty? The beauty of friendship…relationships?

Earlier in the summer I picked up a copy of Magnolia Magazine before going to an appointment that I knew would require some intervals of waiting time. At that point Jo Anne Gaines was still expecting…of course, now, a beautiful bouncy boy completes the Gaines family with five children in tow.

I almost threw the out-dated magazine away over the weekend…but I am in between books and needed something to keep my reading appetite satisfied.

When I flipped to the last page there was a “Magnolia Manifesto” that the editors, writers, reporters, photographers, etc. have agreed upon as a belief statement for the magazine. I loved all 10 belief statements..but two stood out, for me, because of a twist on words. (Remember I am the “Word Nerd”…can’t help myself.)

Magnolia Manifesto

We believe…

-that newer isn’t always better and that there is something inherently good in hard work. 

that friends who feel like family are the best kind of friends and that nothing matters more than family.

that today is a gift and that every day miracles are scattered about if only we have eyes to see them.

-in seeking the balance between hustle and rest and striving… to be passionate about all.

*-that failure needn’t be a negative thing; rather, we learn from our mistakes and fail smarter the next time.

(Fail smarter…aren’t we supposed to learn from our mistakes as we go through life…they are there to teach us and steer us in the right direction if we accept our mistakes with thankfulness for the knowledge?)

in doing work that we love and, in choosing that, nudging others toward doing what they love too.

-in courage, in cartwheeling past our comfort zones and trying something a little bit scary every day.

in subtle beauty, the kind that doesn’t deteriorate with age or wear.

and of all heroic pursuits large or small, we believe there may be none greater than a life well loved.


A “life well loved”….not just the more familiar “A life well  lived,” but loved. I can’t think of a better inscription on a tombstone….“A Life Well Loved”

So until tomorrow….

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” (Mother Teresa)

“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.”
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4 Responses to The Wisdom of Proverbs

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Loved today’s blog. I always love your words! You truly have a great gift. Thank you dear one!! I send much love and many smiles❤️❤️❤️😄😄😄


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Just your name uttered brings smiles to so many faces….”Honey” and like the substance, itself, smiles and tugs at the heart flow from your jug of sweetness and love of life. Love you Honey!


  2. bcparkison says:

    Juat a walk through walmart and you can see everyone need a smile to turn a frown upside down.


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