Looking for the Real “Gems” in Life

Dear Reader:

Haven’t we all heard people say things like “He’s a gem of a person” or perhaps “It was a lucky day when he married that gem of a wife.” We also use the term in sports … as in “Clemson played a gem of a game to beat Alabama and win the National Football Championship.” (Sorry…had to sneak that example in:)

When gem is not referring to a precious stone it means…

Something prized for beauty or perfection or

A highly prized or well-beloved person

My most prized “gem” (when it comes to jewelry) is a cross that Becky Sutusky brought me back from the Holy Land…a decade ago after I had first been diagnosed with breast cancer. I believe she bought it in Jerusalem and it was made from iridescent sand stone. It sparkles when the light hits it just right.

I immediately when out and bought a chain for it but a few days later the chain broke and I almost lost it. It scared me so I put it in a box and placed it in a secure place….I hid it too well…out of sight, out of mind. Yesterday I found it again…that cross needs to be worn constantly… so I am on a mission to purchase a very secure chain (while still being delicate to show off this prized “gem.”)

At the end of our lives wouldn’t it be nice to reflect back on it and said “It was a gem of a life!”

I love this story about a father’s advice to his son on understanding the value of life.

“A Priceless Gem”

One day a young boy asked his father, “What is the value of my life?

Instead of answering, the father told his son…” Take this multi-colored rock and go sell it in the market. If anybody asks the price, raise two fingers but don’t say anything.”

The boy hurried to the market where a woman asked: “How much is this rock? I want to put it in my garden.” The boy didn’t say anything but, instead, he raised up two fingers. The woman said: “Two dollars? I’ll take it.”

The boy ran home and told his father that a woman at the market wanted to buy the rock for two dollars. The father then said, ” Son I now want you to take this rock to a museum  If anybody wants to buy it don’t say a word…just raise two fingers.”

The boy then went to the museum where a man wanted to buy his rock and inquired about the price. The boy didn’t say a word, instead he just put up two fingers. The man asked ” Two hundred dollars? I’ll take it.” 

The boy was shocked and went running home to tell his father the exciting news! “A man wants to buy this rock for two hundred dollars!” His father showed no excitement or emotion but instead he told him… “Now take this rock to a precious stones exhibition, show it to the owner and don’t say a word. If he ask the price… just put up two fingers again.”

The son then went to the precious stones display. He showed the rock to the owner.  “Where did you find this stone,” he immediately asked? “It is one of the rarest stones in the world.  I must have it! How much would you sell it for?” The boy raised two fingers, and the man said…“Then I’ll take it for two hundred thousand dollars!”

The boy didn’t know what to say so he ran home as fast as his legs could take him.  “Father a man want to buy this stone for two hundred thousand dollars!

The father slowly looked down at his son and replied:

“Son, do you know the value of your life now? You see, it doesn’t matter where you come from, where you are born, the color of your skin, or how much money you were born into. It matters where you decide to place yourself, the people you surround yourself with, and how you choose to live your life.”

If your actions of kindness and generosity to others are reciprocated with respect and admiration from true friends and strangers alike…then you have lived a valuable life more priceless than a gem of a stone.”


So until tomorrow….May we all be so fortunate one day to have friends inscribe on our own stones….He/She lead a “Gem” of a life!

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

So far…All the plants in the yard and on the porch seem to be thriving well in the low twenties nights…they seem to like the colder temperatures…at least for a little while. One beautiful rose bloomed yesterday on a very cold morning and the pansies are growing in leaps and bounds.

Mandy called Monday morning and asked me if I had stayed up and watched the Super Blood Wolf Moon. I told her (by accident) I had and how beautiful it was. She said little four-year-old Jake stayed up too (he’s the kid in the family who never sleeps- got to stay up since he didn’t have school Monday)

She said he was “disappointed to the point of being downright disgusted about the whole thing…”He wanted to know where the bats were and the wolf on the moon…without being able to see them…it was a total bust.”

I found a copy of an old Farmer’s Almanac in the book closet and looked up the different full moons…including the Halloween Moon and the January Wolf Moon. The drawings of the Halloween Moon did show bats flying around and the January Moon has a wolf in it.

I don’t know if this information will perk Jake up…but the wolf moon got its name from the Native-Americans who spread the idea to the colonists. Supposedly the name evolved from the idea that  food is hard to find for wolves during this harshest part of winter each year….they howl at the January full moon in hunger. *The wolf packs were known to gather outside the tribal villages and colonial villages. The howling sound “brought shivers down the backs of the colonial villagers.” 



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 Looking for the Real “Gems” in Life

  1. bcparkison says:

    Very pretty cross.Why not hang it in awindow so it willcatch the light.? As for howling…what I hear and drives my dog crazy is the howling from the wild dogs somewhere out behind our place.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      It is a scary sound….just got a chain today for the cross and people have already stopped me to ask where I got it…because it reflects so beautifully off the sun’s rays.

      Liked by 1 person

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