Lessons Disney Taught Me...

If you know me at all, you know that I have a mild obsession with all things Disney. I credit this mostly to good parenting, since my mom and dad exposed us to the classics early in life. I also credit it partly to having a God-given ability to remember movie quotes at random, further deepening the richness of my Disney experience. The Baines family owned just about every Disney movie there was to own in our VHS collection, both animated and live-action. All three of us married sisters went on our respective honeymoons to Disneyworld (and may or may not get emotional every time we visit.) Our homes contain all sorts of Disney memorabilia. And while some people doubt the value of all of this Disney-mania, I am here today to let you know that, actually, those people are stupid and I hate them I have learned quite a few life lessons from these years of movie-watching, song-singing, park-visiting, and Walt-loving. Many words of wisdom can be found amid all the frivolity... and I am about to prove it.

1. Honesty from Pinocchio- "A lie keeps growing and growing 'til it's as plain as the nose on your face."

2. Kindness from Bambi- "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." (My life's motto, obviously.)

3. Dedication from Mulan- "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."

4. Self-awareness from Winnie the Pooh- "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

5.  Perseverance from The Lion King- "The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."

6. Strength from Hercules- "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength but by the size of his heart." 

7. Diversity from Pocahontas- "If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew."

8. Discernment from Aladdin- "Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts."

9. Patience from Cinderella- "Even miracles take a little time."

10. Reality from Peter Pan- "Dash it all, Nana, don't look at me like that! The children aren't puppies, they're people. And sooner or later, Nana, people have to grow up."

11. Work from Mary Poppins- "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and.... snap! The job's a game!"

12. Self-worth from Bedknobs and Broomsticks- "You must face the age of not believing, doubting everything you ever knew, until at last you start believing there's something wonderful in you."

13. Forgiveness from The Incredibles- "I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now."

14. Wisdom from Alice in Wonderland- "If you don't think, you shouldn't talk."

15. Contentment from The Little Mermaid- "Such wonderful things around you... what more is you looking for?"

16. Adventure from Tangled- "Ah, the things we've seen and it's only eight in the morning!"

17. Priorities from Up- "That might sound boring, but I think that the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most."

18. Friendship from Toy Story- "Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am, bigger and stronger too... but none of them will ever love you the way I do."

19. Change from The Fox and the Hound- "Darlin', forever is a long, long time... and time has a way of changin' things."

20. Curiosity from Beauty and the Beast- "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere... I want it more than I can tell."

Well, there you go. As if you needed another reason to love Disney movies and characters, now you have proof that your life will be enriched by doing so. (You know it's true.) 

Seriously though, I think all Disney characters are embodied by the spirit of Walt himself, who said, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." It's not just about being a princess or having an adventure, but working hard to achieve something you believe in. Even those of us who have relunctantly left NeverLand can relate to that. =)

Now, I've got Peter Pan waiting on DVR and, well, you know... 


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