Posted on 10.01.2018

To Dance or Not To Dance

If you read this column often you will know that I write a lot about work and vocation, about the choice of profession, about attitude toward one’s chosen path and the dreams and goals that accompany the sincere desire of one who is serious about choosing a line of work that will hold their interest, their energy, their patience and perseverance for as long as they care to pursue it.

There are several reasons why I devote so much time and energy to this subject.

First of all, because it holds such a vital importance in my life, coming in right behind, God, family and country.

Secondly because, if a person is to have any kind of quality of life, their job and its rewards are the means to, at least the financial part of that purpose.

Then, as one who has devoted sixty years of my life doing exactly what I want to do for a livelihood and who has lived the dream for six decades I know the value of hard work, good choices and choosing a profession that you can passionately devote your sweat and labor to and basically enjoy every minute of it.

Many times, this means taking some pretty wild chances, flying high without a safety net, working while everybody else is playing and going against the time-honored, “mother knows best” adage.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that mother doesn’t know best in most life experience cases, but when it comes to how you are going to spend half your life and what you’re going to devote it to, neither mother nor father necessarily know best.

Only you can make that decision, because if wherever your parents, in all loving intentions want you to go, to pursue a higher education and play it safe, if you can’t take the fire that’s in your belly with you, you shouldn’t go.

If you don’t pursue your dreams, take my word for it, you’re going to find yourself somewhere down the line wondering, “what if,” what if I’d taken a chance on that job with the new, struggling company that has ended up doing so well? What if I’d tied in with that bunch who offered me a chance to chart some unknown territory, or that crazy dreamer I went to high school with who took off to Australia after graduation?

What if?

That’s a big question and one that is impossible to answer, maybe you would have failed miserably or come back home with your tail between your legs, or maybe you would have been successful beyond your wildest dreams.

The problem is, now you’ll never know.

Now I have absolutely nothing against people who are content with a nine-to-fiver, a house in the suburbs and a membership at the country club, may you thrive and be happy all your years.

But if I’d done what my well-intentioned father wanted, I would have gotten a degree in either civil engineering or forestry and gone into the timber business.

It would have been easier going that route, I could have avoided the nights of little sleep trying to balance my daytime job with a semi-professional career driving one hundred miles round trip to a six night a week gig playing in a beer joint.

I could have managed to have a social life, traveled in the settled circles where civilized people got married, had kids, paid their mortgages and looked forward to retirement.

But the only time when I was happy at work was when I was on stage and I needed to make a choice as to which fork in the road I would take.

I had a good chance of advancement, security and a normal life if I stayed with my regular job.

I had only the opportunities my band and myself could create for ourselves by bringing people through the door of a honky-tonk in my night time job.

I was actually making more money from my music than from my regular job and in the summer of 1958, I made my choice and followed my heart’s desire and became a full-fledged professional musician.

If you look at only what is on the surface you’d probably think that it’s been an easy ride. But what’s hidden below the waterline is countless hours of practice, traveling hundreds of miles, six people to a car, dealing with obstinate musicians with drinking and drug problems, the loneliness of being away from a wife and infant baby for sixteen weeks at a stretch, and much, much more.

The previous paragraph is not complaining, it goes with the territory. I just want everybody to know that the trail to pursuing your dreams is fraught with many pitfalls, setbacks, disappointments and disillusionment. but worth every bit of it when you’re pursuing your dream.

Yes, I could have avoided a lot by traveling the road most taken, I’d have missed a lot of problems. But, as Garth Brooks so poignantly put it, I would have had to miss “the dance.”

So, if you’re a young person just starting out, think seriously about which fork in the road you want to take, and even if it don’t work out, you won’t have to sit around and wonder what would have happened if you had left town with the circus.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

— Charlie Daniels

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Comments

Personal Responsibility
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie, it is all about personal responsibility, taking the bull by the horns and letting it rip, what others think, including political correctness be damned. No matter how you land, get up brush off and go again, never stay down. God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Motivation
Charlie, So many in the world today have no goals, no motivation, and no desire to be the best they can be. Many social freebies have done a number on a whole culture. I am so grateful to have a President that is putting people to work and decreasing the burden of so many taxes that support the non-workers...many by choice and some that just need a hand as Plowboy says to be able to "get up, brush off, and have another go at it" ( I admire those folks who try again) Please continue to pray for our Country and our President.
Posted by Patricia
Dreams or a Job
I myself have come to realize.. sometimes ones dreams, if not thought upon prior to other commitments.they just fall to the waist side... And trying to just make a honest living..is all one can do.when realization sets in.. I for one would jump at a chance to work in a field that would be satisfying.and not a burden...if you by chance have any openings with your band..or ranch...or cleaning out the gutters...as long it is honest..I would be much appreciative..then I could say that I am a true roady... lol..but until one gets a clear channel in view..I guess I will just have to wonder..and be satisfied in a job that I am currently doing..although it isn't as satisfying as it would be working for the great CDB outfit....)
Posted by Robert
Dreams
Dancing is fun, if you have the right partner..whether it is figutivly speaking or otherwise.. God Bless.. May I hear from you all soom.. Until you gentle up to someone...it is like a bull in a China cabinet
Posted by Robert
whoa!
One of the greatest jazz guitarists who ever lived worked in the town next to mine as a sign painter. Charlie succeeded as a professional musician. Millions do not. if you go that route that Charlie has in mind keep in mind that music is its own reward. For Patricia, I still pray to God that Donald Trump will be impeached before he and his followers do anymore hurt to this country.
Posted by dana
Work
I believe I made the right choice, vocation wise. I had to have my pancreas, spleen and part of my stomach removed. After working hard at my profession I found myself on disability. The government takes all but 65 bucks a month and I’m stuck in a assisted living facility in Texas. Here I am feeling less than a man and am sitting here waitin to die. Oh boy. God bless, Gregory Owens
Posted by Gregory
Dreams
[I] truly wasn't expecting you all to post my previous thoughts..lol Truth be told, i.kinda have settled in where I am at..fixing to have to uproot tho.. As in the past, I am getting channeled out.. But i have become use to such actions by others..for it has become a norm... Hardwork and devotion don't mean heals any longer... I once wanted my very own cattle ranch..but that fell by the waist side after dad passed, because of all the corruption of the ones that handle his succession. And me not knowing any better, well I fell in their trap.. I am just.a southern good old boy./ man Easy on the man part. For I have alot of childish like ways.. I have come to a greater conclusion that one must stay humbled in this age in time.. And it doesn't matter if you are polite or rude to some it doesn't matter either way. And by God's grace the spirit has filled me to be passive in many many ways... Stuck in the middle of heaven and hell, I suppose.. I believe the Pope is wrong about purgatory tho.. For I cling to the ways of way past. Well i.must sign off.. God Bless and may Gods grace hold us up above all what has plagued us as a country
Posted by Robert
Dixie and Dreams
Wanted to update the previous thoughts. On the childish like ways,they are of good nature.. And I also wanted become the 2nd President of the Confederate States of America.. Wanted to bust up the Union and the tyrannical people that are trying to over throw We The People.. Setup our on financial markets and be seperate in our trade with other countries.. Establish our own government and set knew standards to how our children learn independence and protect our southern way of life... That one maybe alit bit out of reach... Need more people to be proud of our lineage and I. Where we come from.. It is almost devastating to see what our elected officials have done and are doing to our country.. Even tho President Trump is doing a sufficient job.. There will be a day,that this and the next administration will be no longer.. And we cannot allow,the extreme liberal left to gain control again... Thoughts out loud....)
Posted by Robert
Electoral College -- with the "election" of Trump, it has did everything is sought to prevent!
bill (good guy with a gun)...the Electoral College, as it was conceived, was for the purpose of making the South feel relevant. The slavery angle -- at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, a Pennsylvanian named James WIlson, proposed direct national election of a president. Virginian James Madison Madison opined that such a system would prove unacceptable to the South: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.” In laymen's terms, in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) of course could not vote. The Electoral College— prototypical of what Madison proposed in this same speech—instead let each southern state count its slaves, albeit with a two-fifths discount, in computing its share of the overall count. I recommend YOU do some historical research and context.
Posted by Mervin Malone
Hidden Wisdom
Go with the flow till the flow ain't got no go is not the way to be. A part of that whole mix also has to be assessing the talent/ability God has given each of us. And true to form, He will also provide opportunity to use it. But ivy leagues doubtfully teach all that. It does take some honest evaluations. Life is also a teacher. I knew people who I never thought would be an authority on this or that wound up so. I hate to get all Forest Gump.
Posted by Jeff
Time has ended in the Dance
Searching, learning, and the ability to comprehend has and will take a toll... To the point of having to live and relive ones path of this life... And to come to the realization. That nothing means nothing if it doesn't fill the soul... My life has been like a movie...GroundHog Day... Somethings are not worth going back over...and should be left buried...in the times of past and lost.. Until my number is pulled..I will stay in soldarity and make a slow walk to my age of being old... God bless And May Gods grace deliver us from the trials of life..
Posted by Robert
THANK YOU
I wanted to thank you for your time at the Lynard Skynard farewll in Jacksonville, my husband has been a musician for 50 years and was diagnosed with Advanced Dimensia a couple of years ago he saw you at the concert and he cried because he knew how much he had lost no longer being able to play, he loved seeing you it brought him so much joy. P.S. the double neck guitar that was being played reminded him of the Venture that he had almost too heavy to play but he loved it. Thanks so much for the joy your show brought to him.
Posted by TERESA
A Father Gets Too Controlling
Charlie, it's been a few years since I've watched Dead Poets Society, but when you talked about how mom and dad don't always know best about what to do with one's life, I remembered an infamous line from the movie where an angry father tells his son "You are going to Harvard and you are going to be a doctor". I just felt like sharing that. -- Tru Cola
Posted by Tru