No 18 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, April 29, 2016
To Be Alive is a Grand Thing!
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, wracked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie
AARP Magazine came out this month with an article “The Terrible 22’s”. It was a horrible rant on the Millennials of today, how they are, and the challenges they face and the challenges we have with them. I read that article and still had no answers for the generation entering the work force today. I do not understand labeling a whole generation and not sending out good energy to them.
For me, all my life I have only known that I needed to work hard, achieve, and be the best I can possibly be in my life. No one ever told me that I could not achieve. Of course, in the beginning, my boss said I would not be a good dance teacher, and 41 years later I’m still loving teaching dance, and that boss and I have been great friends the whole time.
Or the time I failed my Bronze Tango test, and my best friend told me I would never be a good Tango dancer. Well, I re-tested and received honors in my Bronze and also my Silver Tango after that! Yes, I told myself that I could do it, and I did do it!
“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” – Aristotle
Four words were taught to me in the beginning of my Arthur Murray career. Poise, carriage, grace, and composure. Poise and grace were states of being, and carriage and composure were action words and verbs. I was always told to be poised, carry myself in a dignified manner. Speak words of grace, and maintain a composed demeanor.
“A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.” – Alistair Cooke (1906 – 2004)
No, I don’t always “feel like it” but I always know what to do. I realized that I write my own script in life and that I’m accountable for my actions and not a victim of others actions and beliefs.
“A hero is a man who does what he can.” – Romain Rolland
Every day I do try to do what I can, and exceed and maintain that level of accomplishment daily.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American Writer
That last quote was from someone listed as “American Write”. The only thing is, Helen Keller could not see, hear, or talk. She is recognized as one of the great Americans of all time because of her achievements. Also, I’m amazed that Miss Keller used the phrase “we do not see the one” in her speech. Perhaps Helen Keller could hear and see better than most in her own way.
Funny, I have this next quote
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain (b: Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910) American Author and Humorist
After 41 years of teaching for Arthur Murray, I get a lot more instruction done through a smile and laugh than I ever did with a reprimand! Yes, showing kindness is an art, and a lifestyle that is learned and one that must be maintained!
Let’s end with this:
“The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.”- David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) American, University President, Author
You say, how do I know where I’m going? And how do I have the confidence to know this? Well, the answer is simple. I will live the rest of my life giving service to others and living from the joy of that service.
Keep on Dancing!