“Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious thing.”
– Randolph S. Bourne (1886 – 1918) American Writer
After 42 years with Arthur Murray Dance Centers, I now have a lifetime of my dancing friends, and they are truly my family. These are precious and fragile relationships. All of us have gone through thick and thin, success and failure, sadness and happiness, health and illness, and we have stuck together for decades.
On the other hand, there are some friendships that have shattered like a precious vase, like a broken like a picture frame. These are the tragedies and losses of life and are very sad. Sometimes a cross word has caused a riff, a callous gesture, a blunt conversation, and repair is possible but not probable with some of these lost relationships. I always hope that at any time, especially at Lent that healing will happen and I always pray for that healing.
“Many a friendship — long, loyal, and self-sacrificing — rested at first upon no thicker a foundation than a kind word.”
– Frederick William Faber (1814 – 1863) English Priest and Hymn Writer
Many, many of my life-long friendships truly began with a hello. Or a compliment, or a dance, or an introduction. That thread was stronger than steel and a golden thread of love has been woven throughout our years of knowing each other. The sadness I feel for the relationships where the thread has broken, is that the reconciliation may never happen, but I never lose hope!
“I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.”
– Pete Egoscue (1945) Founder of Physical Therapy Method ‘The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion’
We just celebrated our 5th year of ownership of the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica. I never thought it would be easy. In fact, I cannot believe how hard it was at time and still is to this day. But, it is worth it. The personal change I have experienced over the years has been fantastic and I have grown and matured 100 times over from when we started. Easy no, worth it, YES!
“The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous.”
– Margaret Fontey (1919 – 1991) English ballerina
At one time, I thought I was very serious about my career. I began to believe what others graciously said about me and I began to believe that I had arrived and that I “had it all”. Then I quit growing. Today, I am surrounded by many mentors and guides, and leaders who constantly correct and guide me. Today, I truly take my career seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously. My mom, J. Clair, always said to me “Keep a little song in your heart”. It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when you have a joyous laughter in your voice and you’re focused on service to others.
“We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens.”
– Brooks Atkinson (1894 – 1984) American theatre critic
This magic does happen in my life. Somehow, at the eleventh hour, things do seem to work out. I once worried so much, almost to the point of illness. Then I realized that the sun would rise in the morning and no matter what happened, there would be a new dawn in the morning. So now, I cherish my friends and family, pray for the broken threads that need to be mended, and I try to laugh every day.
Thanks for reading!
David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!
FB: David Earl Woodbury