Friday, February 8, 2008
I have had the opportunity to do something this year I haven't done in such a long time. I have found a great place to sing and perform in Dallas, TX. Yes, I have returned to my Dallas following to perform Wednesday and Thursday evenings every week.
I took a break from regular night performances for a period of 7 years. My family as most of you who know me understand comes first. I have enjoyed putting my children to bed every night and watching them develop. I am a blessed daddy.
February of this bold new year brought me interest from a major recording company plus a whole new set of friends from all over the world. I did my showcase for the labels in December and found out this month that the label wants to escalate. I was also called to fill in for an entertainer who had an emergency and spent several weeks aboard the Norwegian Dawn, which travels the eastern Caribbean. I am actually still here on my third week upon their request that I extend. I will be here one more week and will return to the Mansion in Dallas on Wednesday February 20th. I have spent the days writing new music for two projects involving the United Way and a new children's animated movie and my evenings performing for SRO crowds. I am blessed to see some of the most beautiful beaches and natural sights in this part of our world.
We often hear that bargain hunting is one of the fun things to do on these kinds of trips. I spent one of these mornings with a wealthy woman of 85 who had lost her husband several years ago. She spent her mornings on excursions, her afternoons reading or napping, and her evenings at the various shows onboard. One morning she struck up a conversation with me while going ashore. We talked about her husband, children, and many other anecdotes born of a long rich life.
As we walked into the little town we encountered many people; young and old, selling everything from wooden flutes, jewelry, and every kind of little knick knacks you would expect to see at these little ramshackle flea markets. I saw a few things I thought my children my like and proceeded to negotiate with the salesman who could not have been more than 7 years old. It never crossed my mind to question why this child wasn't in school or why he was manning a booth by himself. I focused on getting the best price. Once I was done and satisfied with myself the little old lady, who was standing by me, observing patiently, said, "Don't ever do that again.
These children don't go to school because there isn't a school. All they have is this work they are doing. We who have should give generously out of our abundance to those who are at least trying to do something positive with their lives." I was immediately saddened but wiser. "When I come to places like this I have a set amount of money that I am planning to spend and then I purchase things I need and don't really need and spend every dime I bring. It is my thought that the money is not nearly as important as those people."
I am grateful for the lesson of benevolence I learned that morning and for the little old lady who was my wise sage and guide around town and proper social etiquette. This morning changed my perception of how blessed we truly are.
I hope you all get a chance to travel and to see the incredible people and places God has created.