Since its 2003 debut, Wicked has broken box office expectations around the world, currently holding weekly-gross-takings records in Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and London. In the week ending January 2, 2011, the London, Broadway, and both North American touring productions simultaneously broke their respective records for the highest weekly gross. In the final week of 2013, the Broadway production broke highs again, earning $3.2 million. The show has been seen by millions of patrons.



So why is there such interest in this world-wide sensation? There are lots of reasons: the story, score, and popular songs. For me, it’s the feeling I get at the climax of the show, which actually happens several times throughout the production. At that moment, you may want to stand and applaud enthusiastically. It is a really great feeling. But as remarkable as that experience is, one doesn’t have to travel to Broadway to feel that emotion. Though the New York Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, or community theaters can provide similar feelings, it’s worth observing that there are a number of other safe, natural, cost-free ways to achieving this euphoria.


Re-reading our journals—and perusing the accounts of others’ experiences—can have the same effect. Notice what time does to simple, seemingly meaningless events. Initially we often don’t recognize their value, but then over time these memories become the cherished recollections of our lives. Say for instance, a song plays that was popular when you and your spouse were dating. Its meaning and significance it heightened considerably now and can elicit feelings that bring love, warmth, and unity to the forefront of your mind. Similarly, observing others set good examples or become involved in improving others’ lives and circumstances is a joy to behold.


Probably important to note at this point is that I get the same feeling when I am involved in or even witness the service of others who emulate the example the life of Jesus Christ by following him. I feel the same euphoria when I engender a happy, helpful attitude, and spend time doing good for others and relish in their successes. And perhaps most of all, I enjoy that elation when I am with my children, spouse, and family doing fun, interesting, happy, friendly activities and seeing their happiness soar.


Even in times of hardship, we can feel the joy and the elation of service when we are interested in others’ welfare and witness solace, safety, and hope spread across their faces.


It is something we will never forget.


Sometimes when we get the chance to really make a difference, we don’t realize the impact of our actions at the time, but on occasion or perhaps years later we come to appreciate the impact of our involvement. Something we take for granted everyday is beyond others’ wildest dreams. I think that holds true when we consider the bounty of blessings afforded us through the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Humanitarian projects often entail recruiting multidisciplinary teams of students and young professionals to holistically design and execute development projects that lead to greater social impact and relieve suffering all across the world. Young and old can participate. All are edified and feel the joy of service.



Lift where you stand to help others who can’t help themselves.


This has been the greatest experience I have ever had in my life so far and the lessons I learn every day are so valuable. I can feel my capacity to love increase and my gratitude evolve every single day. Every time I play with the children here or they help me sift through the rocky soil by shoveling it through a chain link fence they make me a better person. They have so little and yet they are so happy and grateful for what they do have.



Once you learn of the Savior, your life changes forever.



I hope I can be half the man to my son you have been to me.



Dad loved bag pipes. I still get chills listening to them because of him.



Glenn Beck’s tribute to President Gordon B. Hinckley is one of my favorites because it reminds me of him. It captures the emotion I feel when I think of great men and women that stand as examples for us: “I didn’t know the man, but I watched his example. Whether you are in my faith or another faith or no faith at all, we can learn a lot from watching good examples from time-to-time.”


To read more articles by Walter Penning, click here.

To read more articles by Walter Penning, click here.

A song or a phrase or a memory can make you want to be a better person and share that euphoria with others when we are influenced for good by the exemplary men and women around us.


In fact, just thinking about them and their Christlike characteristics is exhilarating.

About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.

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