What a Wonderful World

what a wonderful worldThe gifts of life are so unpredictable. Recently, I was at a state wide conference of Staffing Professionals leading a speed networking event in Sacramento. At the opening night mixer I met a woman named Patricia Drain, the Keynote speaker, and during our conversation she learned about my singing. When she heard that the type of music I perform includes standards like “What a Wonderful Life,” she wanted me to sing for the group. She said that she and her husband love that song so much that they play it at every anniversary. At first, I deferred, thinking that a business conference wasn’t really the right kind of place for my singing. She persisted and said that she felt the opposite were true and that it would actually be something special. Finally, I agreed.

The next day, right before lunchtime there was a representative from The St. Johns Homeless Shelter there to receive the proceeds of the Conference’s Raffle ticket sales. She spoke to the conferences and described the work of the center and described the life of the children of the homeless there. It was sad to hear the actual disadvantages the kids experience. She listed the simplest things that most other kids expect from their parents, like rides to after school sporting events or birthday parties that these kids wouldn’t have it weren’t for the generosity of groups like ours. After her speech, I was introduced. I was very moved by her speech and realized that the song I was set to sing, “What a Wonderful Life” should be sung in the children’s honor. I didn’t expect what followed. People stood and cheered and I saw tears in the eyes of so many of my business peers. Several came up and hugged me. The woman who had just spoken thanked me for the song and told me that that song was one of her favorites and in fact was the song she’s chosen for her ringtone on her mobile phone. I know it wasn’t about the quality of my singing that day but that I was there at that moment and that the singing of that song juxtaposed with the story of the homeless children touched a chord in people. I felt like everyone received a gift that day, the children, the people in the audience and of course, myself. I received a wonderful lesson. I learned that by getting out of my own way and offering what I have to people, I can allow real magic to happen.

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