Reacting to Others…Connecting Together

Dear Reader:

Sometimes when I think about the conscious or unconscious influence of being a role model for loved ones coming after me and those who surround me in my daily life…it forces me to never forget just what an awesome influence each of our lives are on the next generation and so on and so on.

As I remember my own personal conversations, messages, and advice with and from mother and grandmother… it only re-enforces the importance of walking the talk each and every time we are with those who are watching to see how we react under different circumstances. *And they will literally follow in our footsteps…good or bad.

*Though sometimes it is appropriate to stop and make fun memories too…. Dr. Seuss “My grandma was a teacher, what did your grandma do?” t-shirts! * (Thanks Pam Stewart for letting me know about the t-shirts back when)…Add some fun “teacher glasses” and let the good times roll! (Two years ago)

Little eyes are always watching…curious to see how adults behave when they think no one is watching. Human behavior relies on reacting to circumstances based on how we see the adults in our own lives reacting to problems while growing up.

Do the adults in the family scream and shout when problems come their way, or are they calm and patient when things don’t go right, are they protective and caring during one’s childhood or apathetic and otherwise preoccupied? The list, of course, could go on forever.

For better or worse, not only are ‘we our mother’s daughters,’ we are also our father’s influence, and vice-versa for son and fathers…with grandparents potentially sharing an important role in the final outcome of how the next generation views the world and reacts accordingly.

At a certain point in our adult lives we start shifting role model observations over to our boss, or co-worker, friend, pastor, any one we admire. There is certainly nothing wrong with this as long as we take the best parts and ingrain the guidance and direction without changing who we are at heart…our true being.

Where the problem arises from copying others, especially their reactions to circumstances in life, is when we stop using our own intuition and follow the “herd” like sheep. How many 60 Minute stories have we seen where someone is screaming for help but spectators from close by, perhaps in high-rises, don’t react because they are too busy watching to see how the other neighbors or tenants are reacting. It is a behavioral defect we have to recognize as humans and react on our own volition.

On the flip side, however, when we watch someone do something good or kind…it has the same effect. Suddenly we want to do an act of kindness also….to take the opportunity to do something positive for strangers in all kinds of diverse situations.

I suppose it was a God Wink but yesterday I was reading random acts of kindness stories and suddenly an old Liberty Insurance one-minute video on ‘Paying it Forward’ suddenly came on… I loved it…what a fantastic clip on what life could be if we all reacted to others the second there was a need. What a different world we would live in.

I played the first two (one-minute video clips) over and over…and realized that it isn’t always the person who has an act of kindness bestowed on him or her that pays it forward…many times it is someone in the crowd who witnesses the kind deed that starts another chain of intentional acts of kindness… with themselves as the leader of another link of kindness!

One of the two (one minute) video clips starts out as a typical day…a toddler drops her doll on a busy sidewalk, a stranger immediately picks it up and hands it back to the parent, then a stranger who witnesses this act of kindness, pushes back a cup of coffee (about to be shoved off the desk by an unknowing co-worker) just in the nick of time.

Another office observer now catches a co-worker before he falls backwards in his desk chair later the act is paid forward by catching a stranger on the sidewalks of NY who is about to stumble and fall ….and so on and so on and so on.

So until tomorrow…Why don’t we try starting a chain of kind acts, intentional kind acts…we might never know the long-term effect or if it just stops with the one person we help today…but then again…it is not important that we know the ending… just that we started a chain of kindness to remind us that we are all human and children of God Whose compassion for us should be shared with (and for) others.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

More pictures by Sarah on the Dingle cuties…what a friend she is to Mollie and Walsh.

*Life really is a roller coaster ride…this past week has been a tough one for Ann Graves, a friend from church, who heard the diagnosis no one wants to hear…breast cancer…but after meeting with the team and her surgeon yesterday…it looks promising that it is treatable and the prognosis is quite encouraging.

My daughter-in-law, Kaitlyn, and her mom, Susan, just heard that Uncle Rusty’s (Susan’s brother and Kaitlyn’s uncle) cancer treatments have not gone as hoped and some tough decisions will have to be made about further options.

So please keep Ann, Kaitlyn, Susan, and Uncle Rusty in your prayers…When fighting cancer there is always a sense of vulnerability and isolation… best put to rest with prayers and encouragement from family, friends and well-wishers for patient and care-givers alike. Thank you.




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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6 Responses to Reacting to Others…Connecting Together

  1. ambikasur says:

    Hi Becky… Been a long time… This blog touched me today… Little eyes are watching us when we think no one else is watching… I have been trying harder to stay calm n composed with my two kids, at times I fail to be their role model… But I do agree that as we exhibit ransom acts of kindness, the legacy will be passed on to the next n future generations as well…
    Will surely pray for Kaitlyn’s uncle.. God will heal him… Hope you all are doing well… Take care… With love n prayers…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Ambika! It has been a long time friend! So happy to hear from you…and I know you are a fantastic mom…mothering is hard and everyone has a bad day but your two sons will always adore you because they understand you love them unconditionally. Happy Easter Ambika!!! Hope you and your adorable family have a great one!


  2. bcparkison says:

    Cut out sugar and cancer will have nothing to feed on. “They ” don’t tell you this but it is afact.


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    Cancer treatments have come a long way which I personally have witnessed this past decade…such good news.


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