No 45 11-10-17 Nothing is ever lost by courtesy

No 45 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy

“Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.”

– Erastus Wiman (1834 – 1904)

Canadian journalist and businessman

Growing up, my dad always said to my mom “Be sweet Miz Woodbury”. Why, she had a direct option on people and situations. I’m just the same. I’m quick to speak and fast to react. My weakness is that my buttons get pushed so fast that I can’t get them under control and bam, there goes my big mouth!

What’s the answer? This courtesy quote is excellent. The answer is wait a moment before speaking and reacting. Now at 61, finally I take a moment before saying the first thing that pops into my mouth. I have learned to take a breath, pause, and listen to the other person finish their sentence. My dear friend, Roz DeBeve, always said that God had perfect mathematics when He gave us two ears and one mouth. Roz said to be successful, listen twice as much as you speak!

For another aspect of courtesy, I have learned from my great friend, Linda Greenberg, to say “I’m sorry”. Perhaps there is a disagreement between two people, and you are caught in the middle of it and you did nothing wrong to either party. To be the peacemaker, just say “I’m sorry” that happened and just take out the fight and be the calming factor. I’ve seen many fires put out with this simple act of courtesy.

Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson said during a homily a few years ago that he had gone through a major change in his life. He said he would get angry and be “in the right” in arguments. He stood before us, hands behind his back, and he said, “Now I just say, I’m sorry” and I don’t fight. His message had a profound effect on me. Does it matter if I am right? It matters if I am a great peacemaker and am able to help, console, guide, and repair situations in a positive way.

“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

The biggest part of courtesy for me is laughter. Of the four personality types, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholy, and Choleric, I am a Chosen Sanguine and a retired Choleric. That means that I was a jerk for a long time and did not laugh enough. I was way too strong and made others see that I was always right. Guess what readers, this was not good for my heart and I almost had a heart attack over this.

Now, I find that courtesy through laughter is a true medicine. When I am dancing and we make a mistake, we look at each other and say “what was that?” and we laugh and give each other a hug a move on. What a great approach to teaching and this keeps my students happy, and they do learn how to dance beautifully loving each and every moment.

Yes, I’m quick just like my mom J. Clair was, yet she was also a very polite and gracious woman. My dad always had a great laugh and he smiled at all who were around him. I’m so blessed to and honored to be their son and have their Southern characteristics in my personality.

Courtesy: try this. Just go out and give a smile and share a laugh with someone. Tell them how great they look today and how happy you are to see them. Ask them how they are and say you are looking forward to seeing them again. Remember, the smile we see in other’s faces is our own smile we are giving to them. From our quote today,

“It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing and conveys much”.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 41 10-13-17 Do What You Can Where You Are and With What You’ve Got!

No 41 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 13, 2017

“Do what you can where you are with what you’ve got.”

– Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) 26th President of the United States

Do you ever wish things were different in your life? Sometimes I do. I wish that things were moving along faster, more prosperity, easier hours, and just more luck every day. Guess what I find out? Daily, I have to do what I can, where I am, with what I have and who I am. It’s not glamorous or easy, but the truth is that we are exactly where we are doing what we should do and using what we have. Perhaps the greatest victories in life are the little mundane things of daily life.

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) British Prime Minister

Yes, I do thing great thoughts, much of the time. I don’t always see the immediate results that I desire, but I do believe in the heroic! My favorite hero is Siegfried, son of the Volsung twins, Sigmund and Sieglinde, children of the god of Valhalla, Wotan, and the earth goddess Erda, a mortal. Siegfried was conceived to save the gods and save the world. He knew no fear and was only protected from the front of his body by Brunhilda’s magic. She knew he would never turn his back on the enemy.

I think of how fearless he was, although naïve and reckless in his actions, he never backed down and never showed fear. In fact, the first time he did experience a moment of fear was the first moment he saw a woman, Brunhilda, and for a brief moment, he tasted fear. He overcame this by kissing her an awakening her from the spell of a deep sleep.

Yes, I do believe in heroes. When my father, Troy D. Woodbury, passed away, next to his bedside was a marble base with a brass plate on it that read, “You are my life’s hero”. He had that by him until the night the angels took him home to mom. I think that in my life, my dad was my true hero. Was he perfect? No heroes are perfect, but he was my life’s hero and I becoming more and more like him daily.

“My parents taught me that I could do anything I wanted and I have always believed it to be true. Add a clear idea of what inspires you, dedicate your energies to its pursuit and there is no knowing what you can achieve, particularly if others are inspired by your dream and offer their help. (from his book ‘Close to the Wind’. Goss successfully sailed around the world – alone.)”

– Pete Goss (1961) British Sailor and Entrepreneur

I don’t think my parent’s every told me I could not achieve my dreams. They were happy I found Arthur Murray Dance Centers and got my life on a good pathway.

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”

– Lord Byron (1788-1824) English Poet

My mom, J. Clair Ford Woodbury, always said to me “Keep a little song in your heart”. I have and continue to do this daily. My mom liked to laugh, and she found a lot of joy in the simple things in life. We could just sit together and tell stories and laugh until we had tears in our eyes. No wonder daddy loved her so much!

“Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”

– Roger Bannister, in 1952 after breaking the four-minute mile (1929)

English former middle-distance athlete, physician and academic

I had a dancing student from England who once dated Roger Bannister. During those years while teaching Kim, I was an avid marathon runner. Kim said that when Mr. Bannister crossed the finish line and broke the record, he could not believe it. He did not die from it and he was surprised that he accomplished this goal. He truly took it in stride at the time, but soon realized that he had made history. He did what he could, where he was, with what he had. He made the impossible possible.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Happy Thanksgiving 11-24-16

2015-12-13 18.44.45

No 48 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

mom-dad-and-fc-baby

I had great parents. Troy D. Woodbury and J. Clair Ford Woodbury were so good to me and gave me so much of themselves.  I was the runt of the 4 kids, spoiled and a rotten kid, but they sure loved me and gave me their all.

Daddy was fierce and momma felt every part of life.  Daddy was strong and devout in all his Southern and Baptist ways. He was the head and ruler of our house.  Now momma was a feeler. We laughed together, cried together, fought together, prayed together, and in the later years were friends together.  She was amazing. Momma always knew that I was different and she always made me feel good and special.

momma-young

My brother, Troy, was the ‘miracle baby’. He came out upside down and had the cord wrapped around his neck. The doctor saved him and momma and I lived the rest of my life knowing that he was her special boy. And yes, he is special!  But I, I was unique with mom. She confided in me and she was always there to support me.

As for daddy, when he died, he had a marble stand next to his bed with a bronze plaque on it that said “You are my life’s hero”. I gave that to him years before. He passed with that message next to him. Daddy loved me. He helped me through the death of my life partner, Jim Byrd. He loved Jim like a son.

troy-walking-down-the-street

I have spoken for Arthur Murray for over 40 years.  Just before speaking engagements, I would call daddy and we would pray over the phone. I would tell everyone of this prayer at the start of my speeches and it set a great tone for every talk. After speaking, I would call daddy and tell him how great it went.

As time moved on, I started to become just like daddy. His will stated that he lived his life to tell others of his faith and trust in God. Reading his will moved me so much that I put the same words into my will to be read at my death. I’d better not mess up my life, for that will be read at the end of my life.

with-lollee

Now that I’m older, I’m a member of the Chamber, Church, and many groups, just like daddy. I know everyone and love being with everyone everywhere.  Daddy’s blood runs through my veins.

For momma, she gave me the secret to my life.  J. Clair said to me one time, when you first meet someone, find what you love about them and ‘Build An Empire’ on that quality.  I have been lecturing on ‘Build An Empire’ for decades now and always credit my dear mom for this training. I still practice this every day.

For the other side, I’m my mom. Emotional, prone to sadness, a worrier, and sometimes trying. This is what made my mom so unique, and what gave her character. She could cry, but she could also laugh a lot as well. Also, I always saw that daddy loved her, even during the rough times. And I loved her too. Hopefully Joel will see through my dark times and love me as well when I’m not at my best in my life.

Well, I’m proud to be the son of Troy and J. Clair. I am my parent’s son and would not have it any other way.  I do live every day to tell others of my faith, and of my great parents who gave me the love of my faith and the love of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!