Old News is New News

So. Much., it seems, has happened since I’ve left China behind. I feel years older. I’ve learned a lot. Sometimes I wonder if the past three months have been harder than the nine I spent abroad. I’ll get to that much later, when I have a lot more time to breathe.

And I’m floundering a bit to express what I’m feeling, so I’ll use instead an old piece I wrote one cloudy, freshman afternoon three years ago. It seems to know what I need to say.

***

At the end of my life, there are two things I want to be able to say I accomplished.

I loved Jesus Christ with all my soul, strength, heart and mind.

My life resembled that of a Disney character.

If you know me well, then the first statement should really come as no surprise; then again, neither should the second. However, it does seem strange that one of my life goals resembles something as seemingly trivial as a cartoon.

I’m one of those people, though, who sees the world with a glorious, profound sheen. To me, there is no mundane; the simple is beautiful. Lessons can and are learned from the outwardly meaningless.  There’s a verse somewhere in the Bible that I stumbled upon as I was reading Joyce Meyer’s “The Battlefield of the Mind” that talks about how the small will be used to make fools out of the elite. I love finding meaning where there should be mindlessness.

And so in my search, I’ve been inspired by Disney characters. They make me want to be better. Are they perfect? No; they’re fictional. I still, however, see their merits and learn from them.  Walt, the big man, explains it best: “Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.”

It’s my turn. I’ve seen this done before, so I can’t take total credit for the idea. But my analysis is my own, and the affects of the films and their players on my life is completely unique.  With that being said, I begin…

…I want the insatiable curiosity and love of learning exhibited by Ariel; Belle’s single-minded hope in one day attaining the best the world has to offer her, and Jasmine’s ability to fiercely stand against ideals and old- fashioned traditions that harm instead of heal. In times of crisis, I hope I am capable of clinging to what I know to be true and acting on it as Pocahontas did, regardless of the cost. I desire the patient, calm, peaceful spirit exhibited by Cinderella when things didn’t go her way. In Mulan I admire the deep, unswerving love she has for her family and wish to exhibit that trait in my life as boldly and bravely as she. When I feel the consequences of actions not caused by myself, I hope that like Sleeping Beauty I can forgive as readily, without bitterness or spite, to those who wronged me.  May my life exhibit the spunk and eccentricity and adventure of Alice’s trip to Wonderland; the innocence and imagination of Peter Pan; the appreciation of the simple pleasures, as in Toy Story; the true friendship of the Fox and the Hound; the sense of purpose as demonstrated by Simba’s odyssey, more commonly known as the Lion King;  the power of laughter illustrated by Boo in Monsters, Inc.; the realization that tragedy breeds hope as in Bambi; that class, as in the Artistocrats, is something one cannot buy; the fact that family oftentimes need not be limited to biological ties, as in Pinocchio.  May I always remember the value of hard work, as Hercules did; that like Jane in Tarzan and Kenai in Brother Bear, that the best lessons are learned from switching one’s perspectives, and that order- administered with a loving smile- is often all we need (thanks, Mary Poppins). May my Mowgli always have a Baloo to remind me to just relax.

And lastly, may I always remember that a pure life is the best life; that kindness changes lives; that waiting for a Prince is tedious and difficult but that eventually, he will find me (and not the other way around).   To those goals I owe the fairest Snow White, who’s legacy, pure as the precipital phenomenon after which she is named, shines through the ages. With His help, may mine do so as well.

“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.”

-Walt Disney

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