Tuesday, September 24, 2013

We All Want to Fly - Lessons from Dumbo

Last Sunday was Elephant Appreciation Day. I love elephants for a lot of reasons. First, they are so gentle. Or, at least, they seem gentle. Kind of laid back...and yet, they can definitely take care of business when the time comes. This picture is another reason I like elephants - they know how to have a good time.

As my brain does, when I learned it was Elephant Appreciate Day, I started thinking about zoos and then the circus which, of course, brought me to Dumbo.

The story of Dumbo is poignant and inspiring and...well, all kinds of good, really. I like the messages hidden in the layers of a good story. Here are 3 of my favorites:

Your Biggest Flaw Can Become Your Biggest Asset - Dumbo's biggest flaw? Those ears that kept tripping him up. The ears were (at first) a drawback. Something bullies used to tease and discourage him. But in the end, those ears set him apart and they helped him to soar.

Real Friends Love You For Who You Are - Okay, so Timothy was more 'stuck' with Dumbo in the beginning. But from the beginning, he saw the extraordinary buried deep inside Dumbo. He saw the kind heart, the little boy who only wanted to be loved. Real friends are like that. At first, they like you despite your weirdness...but in the end, it is your weirdness that they embrace and love.

Trust Yourself, Not the Magic Feather - This one is my favorite. Because we all want that magic feather, don't we? We want some magical cure for weight problems or an easy way to get that promotion or a magic spell to make someone fall in love with us. When, in truth, we have to trust ourselves. We have to push away from the table when we are full, we have to work hard for that promotion and we have to trust that the person we love will see through the flaws on our surface of the damage inside and they will love us, anyway.

Do you have a favorite Disney flick? What have you learned from it?