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Paying it Forward

Writing blogs requires inspiration and a gem of an idea. It is just like when I am choreographing. When I am inspired the choreography comes rushing out like Niagara Falls.  I don’t know how or where it comes from, and have little control of how it leaves my body. The back story behind this blog was motivated by a recent act of kindness from a skater’s family that moved to Singapore two years ago.

By way of background, my mother had a few key phrases she used to say to my two brothers and me time and again.  “If you can’t say anything nice about someone or something than you better say nothing at all.” Along with, “You know the difference between right and wrong.”

I grew up knowing I needed to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and to wish only good things to all even if they had been unkind. We three boys were expected to conduct ourselves with dignity, honesty, be proud and hardworking.  Right was always expected and wrong brought the wrath of a lecture that would make us feel like we had failed not only our mother, but more so ourselves.  In this day and age when the world is in such a precarious state we need to do more for others than we do for ourselves.

A few years ago some of you might remember I produced a show, Celebration Gala for Kayla, for one of my students and her family.  In summary, her 44 year old father passed away unexpectedly leaving her mother Daphne alone with four small children to raise.  The show helped raise funds to assist the family during this very tragic time.  Maybe because I was raised by a single mother with three boys to attend to, I was inclined to show a little kindness and help Daphne and the kids.

I am happy to report that Daphne, Kayla, Nasya, Ethan, and Ellie are all doing great back home in Singapore.  They sent me a beautiful holiday card recently keeping their memory warm in my heart.  I love to touch base with them periodically to keep up on their lives and to see how the kids are doing.

In a sport that can be hurtful at times I feel fortunate to have been able to touch the lives of so many wonderful skaters in a positive way.  I like to say, “If you don’t receive praise for an act or deed it doesn’t matter because you know in your heart what is right or wrong.”

The session is over and the Zamboni is coming out.

Auf Wiedersehen

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