No comment. I’ve said that a lot in the past few weeks. What a strange phrase for a blogger and author with plenty of radio, speaking and interview experience. It has almost sounded foreign crossing my lips, but in some cases it is best to let the legal system speak for you and remain quiet to the media. That has been the case for many of us here in Franklin, TN who took part in a Disney World trip this summer with our dance studio.
You can read about it all over the Internet, it’s been on local news and even new reports outside our state that parents and students of Ann Carroll School of Dance booked a trip with John Swoap and Melanie Swoap of Blue Sky Journeys to Disney World, but arrived in Florida to discover nothing had been booked. John and Melanie Swoap have been arrested, arraigned and are currently out on bail awaiting the next court date. But all this isn’t the message I wanted to share with you today. Those are just the facts that are already splattered across the Internet, don’t be distracted by the sensational news it makes.
The reality is that crisis happens – it’s inevitable in every life and business. What counts is how we deal with it when we stare into the potential chaos created by crisis.
I was impressed and grateful for the response that I witnessed from both Disney and the owner, leaders and parents of Ann Carroll School of Dance when we arrived room-less, plan-less and ticket-less with 120 people at Disney World.
The chaperones and other adults that traveled with the dance company to Florida were gathered into conference room. There we were informed that everything we had booked with Blue Sky Journeys and paid for had not been booked with Disney by the John and Melanie Swoap.
There was a fraction of a moment of silence and then one parent said, “Let’s pray.”
Right then and there we all joined each other in prayer.
Calmness prevailed throughout our entire meeting that followed. As I witnessed the leaders of the dance studio deal with the situation with grace, dignity and professionalism I knew for certain that I had made the right choice in dance studios for my girls when we moved to Franklin, TN last year.
Our children can be taught rhetorical lessons, but nothing gives a more lasting impression then when they witness their teachers and mentors respond gracefully in the face of crisis. Generosity can be preached about, but experiencing it as several parents quietly and anonymously pulled out their credit cards so the trip could go on is something they will never forget.
Crisis revealed the heart and character of the people who spend enormous amounts of time teaching and training my daughters. Nothing says, “Trust me with your children” like putting prayer first followed by professionalism in the face of crisis.
To the rest of the story I still say, “No comment. “