Accepting People as They Are

Dear Reader:

I usually stop a couple of times a week and go through the mail that needs more time to read and make decisions about…rather to keep or throw away. Time management requires some time but I am getting better at categorizing the flood of daily mail that can pile up quickly if I put it off to read another day. Suddenly too many “other days” have passed and a mountain of mail is sitting on the desk.

One piece of mail (to arrive this past week) was a small envelope from Special Olympics for South Carolina….I give annually to this worthy endeavor but I make myself check my stubs to see just when I sent the check so I am not writing repeat “annual” checks to different organizations under Special Olympics over and over… thinking I didn’t pay the first time.

When I opened the envelope the familiar student drawing (title picture) was on the card and a smaller card within… displaying options on how to give. It was when I turned the outside envelope over that I saw these words”

“Thank you for accepting people as they are.”

This made me pause. In the present climate today of mounting intolerance towards different peoples, cultures, religions, and just simply different opinions…acceptance is not something we can automatically take for granted.

As a history teacher…pictures, videos, and heartbreaking stories of intolerance in our country (that was built on the ideals of tolerance and acceptance of diversity) bring too many similar scenarios from past histories in different countries.

Like Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself…but it rhymes.”  As a mother and grandmother,  an  American history teacher…the rhymes are coming at alarming speed. My concerns are not about me…but the world my children and grandchildren will live in.

Will it be a world of indifference and ‘look the other way’ attitudes…or a world of kindness, caring, and acceptance. If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. Strength lies in diversity, not similarities.

So until tomorrow… Hopefully…the best thing to come out of all the turmoil we are witnessing today, is to awaken people to the realization that “We, the People are the government and it is our responsibility to be vigilant in preserving the rights of the people to continue to have a voice in maintaining core values in a country built on them.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I have to admit that the fastest growing things in the yard and garden today are the weeds…all two feet tall of them….(Michael, where are you?)

With the mixture of rain and sunshine we have had lately, my weeds, that I like to call grass (until they are over my head) are happy indeed.

Still my plants are blooming and not in the least bothered by the weeds.



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 Accepting People as They Are

  1. Rujuta says:

    That’s such an important thought!! It’s really needed.. makes the world an inclusive place 🙂


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