No 34 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, August 19, 2016
“A Kind Word is Never Thrown Away”
“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.”- Arthur Helps (1813 – 1875) English Historian and Novelist
My mom, J. Clair Woodbury, taught me a great lesson. She said that immediately when you meet someone, find what you like about them and build an empire on that one thing. It is a wonderful way to life and spreads light and love to all. I see someone and I like their hair, their clothes, their smile, their handshake, their scent, their laugh. Then I TELL them I like that special quality about them. I then go on a treasure hunt for more diamonds of things I like about them.
What I have found is that, just like J. Clair, I never know a stranger. I’ve met strangers and we have entered into full conversations as if we have known one another for a lifetime. In public I have had many such meaningful conversations with total strangers that ended with a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. We just connected.
The other secret ingredient is a smile. Recently, I was the front usher at the 7:30 mass. I was positioned at the altar, next to the organ, and my job is to help anyone who needs assistance. I was standing with my best Arthur Murray posture ready to assist, and an older parishioner sitting in the 3rd row loudly said, “Hey David, could you crack a smile!” His words echoed in the 1000 seat sanctuary. Wow, I was sure my face had turned beet red and I quickly put a smile on. I realized that being Visible, Easy, Useful and Ready was not enough. I had to look the part as well.
Needless to say, I always smile at mass now. I always say “Thank you” when passing the baskets and I greet everyone with a smile. This is called “The Habit of Happiness” and is truly a lifestyle.
“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”- Adam Smith (1723-1790)
Do I want to be happy, yes! How is that every going to happen? Well get this, it’s by making others happy. That’s the only way for me. When someone irritates me, I quickly realize that I am seeing something in myself that I don’t like, and I must pull the speck out of my own eye before pulling the plank out of the other person’s eye. When someone comes up to me in an angry state, they are usually not angry with me, they are having a bad day, a flat tire, a rough day at work and they need a good word from me and a listening ear.
I’ll never have a tough skin, I’m too sensitive, but I can laugh a lot and smile a lot and that has done wonders in my life.
“Great is the road I climb, but the garland offered by an easier effort is not worth the gathering.”- Sextus Propertius, (50BC – 16AD) Roman Poet
Life will never be easy, but it sure can be a lot more fun if those around us are happier. Give a good word to someone else today. Throw on an unresistable smile. Lay a great sincere compliment on someone. And don’t stop until they are smiling with you. You’ll thank me and they will love you for it.
Ending this blog with a big smile!