â€œLife Lessonsâ€¦one Disney Movie Line at a time.â€
“Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one”…Grandmother Willow
Whether we serve in the role of parent, coach, teacher, mentor, boss, friend or confidante, each of us has, at one time or another, observed those that we care about make poor decisions based on what’s easy rather than good decisions based on what is right. The quest for instant gratification and/or taking the path of least resistance leads each of us to points in our lives when we need to stand strong and make hard decisions. These decisions will define our character, and if they don’t, we will fall victim to the temptations of convenience and never fully develop that character that we can count on in our truest moments of need.
All too often, we hear of people, including our so-called leaders, looking for loopholes, or how to work “the angles” or “the system”, rather than just digging in, rolling up their sleeves, and getting dirty. Have we lost our way? Are we so preoccupied with having the right answer that we have given up on our appreciation of the journey? Has success or winning corrupted us to the point that we will sacrifice our morals, standards or beliefs? How many of us have put in the time either in our jobs, or in our relationships, or in some other way, just to watch some other person come along and reap some tangible reward because they took the easy way? Trust me, my friends, nothing worth having is ever easy. I forget who told me that, but it sticks with me to this day. It is at this point that I could break out a million and one sports analogies to solidify my point, but I think Grandmother Willow does it with equal parts eloquence and wisdom when she tells Pocahontas that “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” Well, who is to say what the right path is? And isn’t it possible that we can find an easy path because we have worked so hard and are incredibly prepared for the challenges of that path? Isn’t easy in the eye of the beholder? Each of these questions holds many possible answers, but if we are to truly appreciate the journey that we call life, it is incumbent upon each of us to rely upon the lessons we have been taught. Or that we have hopefully been taught. You know the ones…honesty, integrity, perseverance, responsibility, discipline, humility, dedication, determination and so on. It is in keeping true to these values that each of us can weather the storm of uncertainty that life’s twists and turns will throw our way, while also keeping our hard-earned character intact. There are no short cuts in life…at least there aren’t if we expect to be truly successful, and fulfilled, and enlightened. Winning and losing will sort itself out, and we have little to no control over these outcomes at times. However, what we can control is how we choose to react to the challenges that life will send our way sometimes. I have been telling my girls since they could understand the message, as well as my students every day in class, that they should, “Do what’s right and not what’s easy!” Who knew that I shared these values with a tree?
Written by fellow Disney Mom (Dad) & dear friend: Chris G. Chris is a proud member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. He is not a Disney employee. The postings on this site are his own and do not necessarily represent Disney’s positions or opinions.