“Through Service We Grow”
Week 11 3-11-22 “Through Service We Grow”
Changing Lives through Dancing by David Woodbury
I cannot remember where this quote came to me, but I cannot get this out of my mind. My father lived a life of service. My ballroom dance teachers, who are older than I am (I’m almost 66), live lives of service to the dance world. They are ageless and continue to dance and teach as if they were in their 20’s. My spiritual mentors have dedicated their all to guide me and others along our spiritual journeys.
Now that we have experienced covid for two and a half years, I don’t know the future. And now the war. I only know that I must live the rest of my life in some type of service to others to help, guide and sustain others.
“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”
– William James (1842 – 1910)
American Philosopher and Psychologist
When I first started dancing at 18 I felt my inner voice say “This is right for you!”
When I told my Southern Baptist parents that I was joining Arthur Murray, they promptly told me I was going straight to hell. Yes, that said exactly that to me! When my franchisee asked my parents to see me in a professional show, she sat them in the front row. We did a Waltz all in white. When my boss took me up to my parents, she asked them what they thought and my dad said “Well, he is finally standing up!” (My mom loved it). Fast forward, both of my parents had lessons with Arthur Murray and my mom was a natural! After 45 years, my dad was my greatest supporter with my dancing career and all my talent came from mom, leadership from my dad.
“Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.”
– Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)
As the years have passed with almost 46 years with Arthur Murray, I did once only dream of fame and wealth and notoriety. I truly lived for recognition of what I did. Now, I realize that all that has mattered are the friends and lovely memories that I have made through dancing with Arthur Murray. I now know that my “fame” is through service and that all the money in the world will not bring one ounce of happiness if it is not earned through serving others.
“Judgement comes from experience, and great judgement comes from bad experience.”
– Robert Packwood (B – 1932)
American former attorney and politician from Oregon and a member of the Republican Party
With a lifetime of dancing, I can tell you that I now have pretty good judgement from all the good and bad that has come my way. Some good through luck and mostly hard work. Some bad from being stupid and making the wrong decisions. Yet, all that has led me to knowing that if you dance, your body, mind, and soul will be happy.
“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”
– Charles Du Bos (1882 – 1939)
French essayist and critic
My oldest sister and I always say to each other, our fame is ahead for us. She is turning 79 and I’m turning 66. We have a good laugh because we truly believe that. I think that when I finally grow up, that God will use the experience, wisdom, love, and joy that I have to truly help many other people. Yes, she and I have a vision and a dream for our futures!
Thanks for reading. Keep on Dancing. Don’t give up. It will get better.
David Woodbury – Arthur Murray Santa Monica, CA
Love you all,