A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

Dear Reader:

The most wonderful thing about being with a grandchild is how the simplest conversation can turn into an important lesson in kindness. One thought can transform an entire day into a valuable life lesson.

Eva Cate decided that she could spend the night with me when the family came over Sunday. We all held our breath because (for the past couple of years) Eva Cate has been afraid of getting homesick…in her mind I lived too far away. I was delighted! She had packed her overnight bag.

Having suffered so from homesickness as a child, myself, I knew this was a big step towards getting over this deeply felt dilemma and if successful, it would open up new possibilities for more diverse sleep-overs.

As soon as John, Mandy, and Jakie left Sunday afternoon I waited to see her reaction but she was all excited about going out in the garden and she had lots of plans for us. She helped me put the trucks back in the hall closet (I always pull out for the boys ) and it was there she spotted the red clown noses.

She remembered putting them on one Christmas Eve to act as elves to give out presents. She tried one on again. On a spur of the moment thought I told her that red noses just weren’t used as clown noses or elves noses…but wearing a red nose also stood for Walgreen’s “Red Nose Day”…a project to raise money to help feed and clothe children growing up in poverty.



She didn’t say anything at the time and I thought the conversation ended right there. But then yesterday morning she came in and stood by the computer while I checked to make sure the blog was up and running. She began flipping through my business cards and then held up one particular card and slowly read: “SMILE…you’ve just been tagged.” What does that mean Boo Boo?

I told her it was like wearing the red nose and giving a smile away…but instead you give a stranger the card with perhaps a little note or money to surprise them with a act of kindness to make their day brighter.

“Can I give a stranger  a card today?” “Could we maybe put one dollar on the back as their surprise?” I said we certainly could and let’s make it two cards, two one- dollars and most importantly two big smiles from Eva Cate to the selected stranger of her choice.

*(I think sometimes the term”random act of kindness” has been over-used. Sometimes Pre-planned acts of kindness can have the same effect.)

Eva Cate decided the first person would be the nice sales clerk at Belks who helped us find the final, final sales rack and a couple of cute tops and pair of shorts. Eva Cate waited until I had finished paying for everything and then she walked up to her and handed the clerk the smile card with the one dollar attached.


The sweet clerk hugged Eva Cate and thanked me….it had been a harried morning with her having to fill in  unfamiliar positions due to a shortage of clerks that morning….and this “righted’ her day.



We left Belks to go to Groucho’s for lunch. The young waitress there was so sweet and brought Eva Cate extra turkey at no charge and with extra pickles. Eva Cate winked at me (our pre-determined sign that this was the next recipient.)


Eva Cate got the same reception…the waitress loved the gesture and hugged Eva Cate…it too “made her day.”





We talked about giving her new teacher (when she sees her) next Monday a Smile card with a note inside “I will try my very best this year.” Students don’t realize teachers are just as excited and nervous as their students that first day of school. They also probably didn’t get much sleep the night before either. (I never did!)

So until tomorrow…

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves!’     

Amelia Earheart

Little did I know yesterday that there were several God Winks going on in connection to our ‘run-away’ balloon. Ann Graves filled me in on this unknown connection.

“A few months ago Andi did the children’s service and released the balloon. It represented Jesus watching over us. So Jesus (the gold balloon) touched down yesterday while the band was playing House of Gold. I’m glad you got a photo of it. Yesterday was a lot of fun!”

Mollie’s sister, Chelsey, found this gorgeous picture in her past memory picture archives and sent to Mollie. Some pictures just make you smile and this one does it for me every time. Best Mother’s Day ever! Great way to end the blog …with a smile! Six years ago!




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 A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh Becky…You shuld make out a page of these SMILE cards so we can print it out and we can all send out SMILES. Think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Beverly you can order them free on-line when you pull the Smile card website….that is how I got mine.


  3. Eva Cate is adorable! and i love the cards!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Becky Dingle says:

    Thank you…I love giving them to the person at the window in a fast-food drive by situation and attaching some money to the card and tell them to give it to whoever is in the car behind me….telling them to SMILE and have a good day!


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