Today, we look at the next in our series based on the 1965 song by The Byrds called Turn! Turn! Turn! You will recall that we looked at “a time to break down, and a time to build up” the last time. Today, we look at the theme:
“A time to dance”
There is a song by Garth Brooks called The Dance that is meaningful to me. The song talks primarily about a relationship, but it is an allegory on life. The key lyrics are:
“Yes, my life is better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.” (from The Dance, by Garth Brooks – the entire song can be heard at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpwdwbO1uvM)
The main message of the song is that we can go through life and take no risks (e.g., miss the pain), but, in doing so, we would miss much of the beauty and wonder that life can offer (e.g., miss the dance). To me, this is so true! Sure, we can “play it safe” and avoid the possibility of being hurt. However, you may miss experiences or learning that which makes life what it should be. Someone once said, “It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” Same message, same principle.
When I look back on my life, I think of several great examples of this. However, let me highlight just one today to illustrate this principle. Previously, I worked for a company that had many problems. And, as a result, the experience for me was very difficult. This job required a move for my family and we commuted 8 hours each way for 89 weeks to fulfill a promise to my daughter. So, the commute was difficult. On top of this, I felt challenged every day in my work. Making progress was slow. Freedom to operate was limited. I hated being micromanaged. I just felt every night going home to an empty apartment or house that the whole thing was a mistake. However, I learned every day during this experience. Now, I realize that had a chosen the safe route, that is, had I chosen to not take this position, I would have missed out on much, such as:
- Learning positive ways to treat others, elicit collaboration, and get things done in the face of difficulty
- Learning just what I was capable of doing – had I not taken this role, I would not have understood the limits of my own capabilities
- Demonstrating to my children that, no matter how difficult the challenge, we must honor our word and our commitment – the challenge of commuting for this long proved to them something that they could never have learned just from my words, and, finally…
- I would never have met many individuals I now consider my dearest friends – this “good” in my life has been worth every bit of the “bad times” I experienced in this difficult position
Had I taken the safe route, I may have avoided some pain, but I certainly would have missed out on the “dance” that has brought such joy and reward to my life.
Yes, there is a time to dance and, in reality, we may be dancing right now. We may look back on today as “the good times” that represent the time of dancing in our lives. When you consider it that way, today may just be a day to rejoice and be thankful for what we have. We think it might last forever, but it won’t.
Thanks for what you do to enhance the lives of those around you. Have a great day! You may look back someday and talk about today’s dance… and smile.