Invisible Struggles

Dear Reader:

I came across a wonderful true story dealing with the fragile emotions associated with a new school year…especially fears surrounding loss, acceptance and friendship. They are the same fears we continue to have throughout our lives… as we move from stage to stage in it with changes throughout…forcing us to put ourselves ‘out there’ in new situations… to be accepted or not.

Connor Crites (left) has autism and it causes over-stimulation when he finds himself in unknown, challenging situations. He had wandered away from his aide and started crying.

Christian Moore heard him and glanced at him. Suddenly he reached over and took his hand quietly without saying anything.

Connor’s mother later said, “Instead of overlooking him like most kids would have, Christian reached over, grabbed his hand and made my son’s day better.”

Christian’s mom, Courtney, happened to see this spontaneous act of kindness and snapped the photo as her son walked Connor into Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas.

Later that day when Connor came home he told his mom he had a great day. He liked his new friends and his teacher. He never mentioned the earlier incident…he had forgotten all about it.

Now Christian and Connor sit together at lunch and recess. They have even started spending time together outside of school. April, Connor’s mom concluded that it is important to “remember that everyone is struggling with something that may be invisible to those around them. We each have the choice to change someone’s day…even their life.”


How true that last statement is…don’t we all have invisible struggles going on in our lives?…Struggles we keep to ourselves…invisible to most… but not all? Don’t we all sooner or later  meet a “Christian” (friend or stranger) who sees through us and recognizes our particular struggle. Not only do they recognize it…they accept it. And that is all it takes…seeing and accepting the broken cracks in each of us.

I just recently learned about a beautiful metaphor concerning the American bison/buffalo. “Where cattle will turn their tails at a storm, bison face toward it- right into the gale. It’s as if they have this instinct that if they meet the tempest head-on instead of denying, running, or hiding from it, they’ll get through it- more quickly and on their terms.”  ( Clint Gresham)

In other words…don’t run from the storm, your fears and struggles…meet them head on! Native-Americans revered the buffalo for this trait of courage and called the bison “Faces the Storm.” Bison were observed turning and walking into snowstorms in order to get through them faster.


So until tomorrow….”Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Bekah and Ady came to visit me yesterday during the Clemson game and brought good luck to the Tigers who started off slowly but ended up winning and beating Texas A&M…thank you girls. Enjoyed your visit so much!







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 Invisible Struggles

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes…we do….everyone of us has invisible struggles that we try hard to keep hidden …but sooner or later they emerge.. We have to let our hidden struggles out into the light to be first recognized and finally dismissed from our lives…with the help of others.


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