Finding the Courage Within

New Perspectives

Dear Reader:

I have discovered something about myself since starting this blog post eleven years ago. When I let myself be vulnerable and open to surprises I am never disappointed.

Yesterday I sat down before the computer and just let myself be silent and observant. My eyes glanced at many of my favorite books over the past decade and one drew me to it.

It was one of Mark Nepo’s first books-titled Facing the Lion, Being the Lion. Wasn’t there a story in it that I really liked? What was it? I googled just the first part of the title, Facing the Lion, and to my surprise another book popped up.

As I began to read anecdotes from it… I forgot all about my first inclination and became completely absorbed in this true story… of a young boy growing up Maasai on the African Savanna.

( I have decided God likes us to get off the main road and take detours.)

This particular nomadic tribe still clings to their ancient ways and need only one breed of animal to maintain their livelihood -living off the land and their cattle.

Lekuton, the storyteller, regales one astonishing tale after the other… they give no thought to walking 20 to 30 miles a day. Holding nothing more than thin spears , they fearlessly face down lions that prey on their cattle . They live in straw huts, wear beads and necklaces and braids. They build their lives around the cattle’s needs and follow them to new homes every few months.

Lekuton was one of only a handful of children who attended school-being a good student he was taunted by the children who didn’t attend. Every time the cattle moved he would find his school remained behind-so for him… running up to 40 miles to get there happened on more than one occasion. He finally got a space in a dormitory-but this caused a problem-he didn’t know where ” home” was when he was released for holidays.

So until tomorrow… ( I love this observation from Lekuton)

” Some people might say our society is primitive, but I think it is the best, fairest system I know. Our system is based not only on the family, but also on the village itself. No one goes hungry. We take care of each other. Children respect their elders. If children do wrong, any adult can correct them. That means everyone in the village are equal.”

” Today is my favorite day.” Winnie the Pooh

Falling in love with Fall
Same colors… Same beauty
The last days of morning glories
Home, Sweet Home

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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