'Tis the season for heartfelt sharing of sentiments and feelings. I know this to be true because of Saturday's swim meet.
The holiday spirit that includes expressed feelings includes caroling for some, and quiet singing to favorite tunes for others. The most genuine display of heartfelt singing came during the holiday season for me, but it was not heard coming from carolers at my door singing "Silent Night," or "I'll be Home for Christmas." The song was the national anthem and the performers comprised swimmers, coaches, parents and friends.
Friendswood school district has a new natatorium and all sorts of great technology. The piece that was supposed to provide the beautiful, canned singing of the anthem for the crowd to join didn't work at the beginning of Saturday's swim meet. As everyone stood, hands over their hearts, the area remained quiet. One of the volunteers grabbed the mic and called out, "Ok, on the count of three. One, two, three..."
With no musical accompaniment, pre-recorded guides, or anything that could be construed as prepared or professional, the crowd gave its all to the anthem. I could hear voices. Real voices. Some in key, most not; some trained, most not. But it was real and plenty loud. I think everyone did better when not having to follow or compete with a professional version of the song. People sang from the heart, and it sounded beautiful.
The message seemed to me to apply to the holidays and all other times. Come from the heart with your words and hugs, your feelings and expressions. Don't let the "perfect' voices that are supposed to guide you actually overwhelm or suppress you. No matter what you have to say or express, make it your own and from the heart.