By Billy BennettYesterday, I took time to do some mandatory holiday shopping with my family.  The weather is warm here.  World news has been anything but joyous.  So, the holiday spirit is still something that had not yet arrived in full.  And yet, fate had a different plan for my day.  It was my job to find a table for us in the food court at the mall.  The place was packed and I don't like feeling like I am back in junior high school looking for a place to sit among the crowd. 

So, I looked for a place with some quality personal space. 

I found it at a table with a group of youth who seemed to be having a little too much fun.  It could be that's why they had space around them.  We are taught to be suspicious of excessive happiness.  They were suspicious.   However, after hearing lots of laughter and a few attempts by one or two of them to sing a few bars, my wife leaned toward them and said "Go ahead sing us a song".   Wow.  They huddled around the table, made a couple of quick decisions and let loose.  I captured this video on the second song they sang... I was in shock during the first one.  It is a mixture of Jingle Bells and Rudolph.  Great harmony and pure joy.  In a few minutes they shared that joy - no infected their joy into the lives of hundreds of people around them.  It was amazing to watch the transformation of noise into jaw dropping attention.

It turns out they were students from our local university who had completed exams and were out relaxing and just having fun with each other.  They are members of Creative Impressions a student performing choir.  

My lessons

I think life is most fun when it gives me unexpected gifts.  How about you?  Here are my lessons from this little encounter.

  1. Taking a risk to make a relationship - no matter how small - can result in great gifts.  Had I not chosen to sit where no one else wanted to sit we never would have been entertained.
  2. There are people doing great things.  In spite of the news there are youth who make me believe that there is hope for a future - and it is a good one.
  3. Life takes courage - but the biggest hurdle is the first step... after that everything gets easier.  Had my wife not been willing to stick her head into a group of strangers and asked the question we never would have known.  Had the group declined the request because they did not have the right acoustics or all of their members - we never would have heard.   
So, my gift to you for this season is the wish that you open yourself to the possibility that when bad news is all around you seek and find something better...the good news.  I also wish that you find the courage to explore the unusual or to take the lead when the situation is less than ideal --- and that you find the wonderful gifts awaiting you because you were willing to take a risk..

Happy Holidays.



Irene Vinyard Bennett
12/23/2012 10:57pm

Thank you, Teri and Billy, for the inspiration of this song and story! Merry Christmas from Hong Kong!

Andrea re
12/23/2012 11:19pm

great post thks for sharing. Andrea

Gary Yingling
12/23/2012 11:32pm

Wow! Really a spirit lifter! Thanks Billy!

12/24/2012 12:19am

It's a wonderful dramatic story, Billy.

Michael & Jacinta
12/24/2012 3:55am

Happy Holidays everyone. All the very best for a successful and peaceful year ahead.

12/24/2012 9:11am

That was wonderful. A perfect start to an early Christmas Eve morning. Have a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Nettie Engels
12/24/2012 11:18am

Thank you for sharing your experience. It was great!!! Tell everyone "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year." Love ya'

Lee Backus
12/24/2012 12:46pm

Billy - what a wonderful and timely message. These are going into my Personal Goals & Objectives for 2013. Thanks for the reminder that it's all about the relationships we share.
Merry Christmas

12/24/2012 1:41pm

Thanks Lee. I'm so glad this was as helpful for you as it was for me. What a good idea for personal goals. Merry Christmas!

12/24/2012 1:44pm

Joe: So happy that it started your day in just the right way. You help so many not for profit organizations with great products. for those who don't know Joe.

12/24/2012 1:46pm

So glad it had the same impact on you as it did me. Have a great New year Gary!

12/24/2012 1:48pm

Nettie: your work with cancer centers was the greatest inspiration to living life for the good. Thank you!


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