Exchanging Gifts ~ David Archuleta
Posted by MT on Friday, December 14, 2012
With the holidays upon us, we are reminded that the Christmas season is about caring, and sharing, and thinking of others. It’s about spending time with family and renewing ties with friends we haven’t seen in a while. And it’s about giving.
Giving comes in many forms. Some gifts come wrapped in pretty paper all tied up with ribbons. Some are gifts from the heart that we share. Some heartfelt gifts are planned; like when we bring gifts to children’s hospitals, drop a toy into the Toys-For-Tots box, bring canned goods for a food drive, or blankets and coats to shelters for the homeless. But sometimes we give gifts from the heart that we don’t even know we gave, gifts that money can’t buy.
While watching a video of David performing My Hands in Lancaster, PA during his first tour, I couldn’t help noticing David’s reaction to the audience singing “hold on” along with him. The small, sweet smile that crosses his face at the 1:02 mark says it all.
In the video below, watch :48-1:03 where David notices the fans singing “hold on”, and then at 1:55 where he lets them sing that part alone, and again at 2:05 where he figures out that if he encourages them and holds the mic towards the audience, he gets a “sing-along right there.” Solo shows were still new to David at that time. He still clung tightly to the mic when singing. But you could see things start to transform in his mind as he realized what was happening.
My Hands – Lancaster, PA
Somewhere in the middle of this tour, I think it finally hit David that the audience was comprised of fans. Not just any fans, HIS fans. I think it was quite a revelation when he realized that these people weren’t just fans of American Idol, they were fans of David Archuleta. Their show of support encouraged him to let go, to connect with them and start letting go of his fears.
It must be a strange feeling for such a young man to realize that he actually has his own fans. And although he didn’t know it, that was just the beginning. I think it took him quite a while to realize just what kind of fans he really had, that these weren’t just ordinary fans. They would prove to be quite a different breed of fan than that of the average artist. Over time, a unique bond formed between David and his fans. Because he began so young, he was still learning. He was new to performing in front of large crowds and it must have been terrifying. But David’s fans gave him the freedom to learn, to try new things, even to make mistakes, while loving anything and everything he did.
They gave him the gift of patience and loyalty while he learned what it was all about. They watched and waited as his performance skills and his confidence grew. They understood his shyness and his sometimes-awkward speeches in the beginning, even cherished those things and received them with a smile.
It was a gift given at a time when he needed it most. Maybe that’s why David is continually telling us how grateful he is for the journey we have helped him to take. He’s even said that it’s the fans that have taken him on this journey. In a way, that’s true. David began his journey solo, but the fans helped him to continue that journey.
That was our gift to David. And while he’s temporarily away from the music scene, his fans are still giving. Time is freely and happily given to keep up with David news, to write about him, to comment on articles about him, to tweet about him, to promote and buy his music, or to vote for him. His fans work hard to remind others that there is an incredibly talented young man out there that will be back in 2014.
But it isn’t like we’re giving and not receiving. It’s been an exchange of gifts.
While we were giving, we were also receiving from this kind and gentle and amazingly talented young man who sings like an angel and has shared his gifts with us. We have been blessed by his voice as he sings songs that make us smile and cry and dance and sing. He has given us years of joy and happiness by sharing his music and his heart with us.
In return for our gift of patience, we have received so much. Our lives have been enriched by David and by the friends we have made through him.
So in the spirit of Christmas, I’d like to acknowledge the gifts given to and from David and his fans.
Wishing you all …