Want to Improve Your Day… Try Wordplay

Dear Reader:

In the title picture ( from Alice Through the Looking Glass) Alice and Humpty are discussing play-on-word games. Alice remarks: ” The question is, whether you make words mean so many different things.”

It might seem too simplified , but words are a major influence on our actions. Author Vernon Howard tells about a man who wrote down what he called beautiful words in a small notebook. They included such words as joy, love, Crystal, blossom, sparkle.

Every morning this man would read about a dozen or so words from his list. When the opportunity arose throughout the day, he would use them in conversation. He told a friend, ” Because I looked at the world only through rose-colored words, I became rose-colored myself.”

Try this: Read the following words slowly to yourself:

Upset, unhappy, tears, depressed, gloom, sullen, dark, morose, sad, dismal hopeless, bleak, sorrow, misery, somber, despair

Take a moment to reflect on your feelings. Now read the following:

Joyful mirthful joking giggle happy laughter glad silly cheerful amusement merriment delightful fun jovial jolly hilarious

Pause… examine your feelings. A new perspective on ” We are what we think.” Even putting a humorous nickname on an aggravating situation…like a television on its last leg -called ” Old Fadeful” or my personal name for my old computer ” Kaput”er! …really helps lighten the mood.

Anne and I met at Oscars for our monthly lunch gathering yesterday and as luck would have it… we got Mitch… our favorite waiter.. the warm camaraderie and friendly banter always lifts everyone’s spirits and adds so much to the day.

New summer wreath at Oscars… shells, seahorses-summer beach-style decor

While we were eating Anne mentioned something interesting she had read or seen about the latest tragedy surrounding the on-going debate on gun control and a type of wordplay that certainly made one stop and contemplate. Originally she thought it was a poll but when she located it again… it was a poem.

When I received it late yesterday afternoon ( after the ” granddaddy” of all thunderstorms-lost power) had passed …the play on words in the poem felt like a ” gut punch.”

*** It wasn’t just the message but the fact that this poem ( written by a British poet -Brian Bilstop) was written SIX years ago… 2016- not six days ago. A wordplay on associating feelings/ thoughts with countries

America is a Gun

England is a Cup of Tea France, a wheel of ripened Brie. Greece, a short squat olive tree… America is a gun

Brazil is a football on the sand. Argentina , Maradona’s hand. Germany, an oompah band… America is a gun.

Holland is a wooden shoe. Hungry, a goo lash stew. Australia, a kangaroo. America is a gun

Japan is a thermal spring. Scotland is a highland fling. Oh better to be anything… than America as a gun.

So until tomorrow… If we are what we think… our country needs to re-think the role of guns and figure out what happened to America… freedom. America… democracy or how about simply America… baseball!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

I am thinking… Eloise… princess dancer-today I will attend Eloise’s end of year dance recital with family! Go get’em my little ballet baby!!

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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