Want to Be Happy? Gaze Outward!

Dear Reader:

Have you ever had one of those days when the domino effect theory is alive and well. You experience one set-back and suddenly something else has gone array which sets off another set of unfortunate episodes. By the end of the day you are ready to crawl in bed and hide beneath the covers?

This might seem a strange solution to a Freaky Friday but the catalyst that will stop the tumbling dominoes is to step outside the game and do something kind for someone else. Get outside of yourself!

The secret is to take one’s attention away from a self hedonistic life style. Jefferson might have given us the right to pursue happiness but self-gratification often backfires.

In the Greater Good Magazine-a new study proved that doing kind things for others is an essential part of the path to happiness.

In this study college students were divided into three teams -one to make themselves happy, team two-to make another happy and team three to use socialization for happiness.

Upon reporting back they filled out their happiness and needs questionnaires. The group who did something kind for another person had the highest happiness ratings. And the interesting part was that the happiness came from establishing a relationship, no matter how brief…that had not been there before. Establishing successful human relationships are the most essential ingredients in defining a happy life… after all is said and done.

Now I understand what one famous philanthropist meant when he pulled back from all the accolades of praise for living a life of giving all he had to others.

He earnestly admitted that giving to others is the greatest “high” in the world that can never be equaled through new gadgets of self-indulgence. He had an addiction to helping others because of the happiness it brought him. In a sense he felt almost selfish for doing it.

Yesterday I crossed a grocery store parking lot as the sun’s rays bounced off a shiny new penny. My lucky Penny! I had eight one dollar bills on me to pick up just a couple of staple items. But when I got to the cashier the total was $8.15. Normally that would not have been a problem but earlier that morning I had dumped all my change in my change jar.

It wasn’t a big deal-I had my bank card with me… sometimes I just play these silly games with myself-setting a certain amount not to go over by the end of the month.

I had already handed the cashier the 8 one’s… and was scrounging for my card when I heard her say ” No matter… I’ve got the change right here.”

My face turned red… and I tried to hand her my card but she just smiled again and said “You’re covered. “

As my fingers had been scrounging for change I found my lucky Penny. Now I told the cashier she should keep it! The lucky Penny guided me to her check-out station and now it should be paid forward to her for her kindness!

The study was right-only this time both the giver and receiver found happiness together!

So until tomorrow… a

feather, robin, butterfly or Lucky Penny assures us happiness is just waiting to be discovered!

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

I talked with Honey yesterday and things are still troubling with Ashley’s slow recovery as different procedural options continue to be discussed and it looks like she will have to remain in the hospital for two more weeks! Prayers and more prayers please!

Big Red lost a stem but look how it brightens my kitchen! Love my Big Red!

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 Want to Be Happy? Gaze Outward!

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Good Tuesday morning, Becky,
    I just LOVE your blogs! They are so full of good advice, wisdom, and just plain ol’ caring. You impart so much to all of us! Thank you.
    I have put Ashley on our prayer list and will hold her, as well as Mike and Honey, up in healing prayers.
    Our weather up here has FINALLY taken a turn for the better and we are no longer soggy and chilly! Beautiful “Carolina blue” skies with a few scattered clouds the last couple of days. It’s so nice to not have to bundle up any more when we walk the dog.
    My garden is growing – vegetables in raised beds! Flowers such as allium, gladioli, dahlia, echinacea and a few others. I have glads from two years ago, but added to them. We shall see. My thumb seems to be greener these days. Must be from looking at your wonderful garden!
    Prayers for Ashley!
    Have a blessed day.
    Much love,


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh…how wonderful to hear from you again with such wonderful news on improved weather and flower/vegetable gardens happily popping out all over. So happy for you…hope is alive and well…and all of us, having gone through a pandemic, did earn it!


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