Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Disney Lesson

My wife and I just got back from Disney, and we came away with not only magical memories but also some pretty good life lessons. Disney has a way of always fitting a moral into the story.

On our last day at the parks, we spent a few hours in the World Showcase at Epcot. When we passed through the England area, we stopped so my daughter could take a picture with Mary Poppins. I waited to take my daughter's picture while my wife and daughter waited in line.

A Disney employee (who are called "cast members") was nearby, and this particular cast member looked like he had an issue with his neck - like maybe part of it was missing or sunken. He was slightly hunched over, too. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but I basically tried to distance myself from him.

While I'm actively avoiding this person, he notices my LSU hat and asks if I went to LSU or am just a fan. Turns out, he's also from Baton Rouge. Not only that, but he grew up blocks away from where my wife grew up.

It's a small world after all!

This guy's name was Mike, and he was probably the single nicest person that I met on my trip. I asked him about how he started working for Disney, where he grew up in Baton Rouge, how to go about getting a software job at Disney... all kinds of things. He was a really nice, interesting person. And quite frankly, I'm ashamed at myself for originally avoiding him.

If there's anything that Disney teaches us, it's that there's something deeper inside of us that makes us special. I'd like to thank Mike at Disney for reminding me about that. I routinely ask, if only implicitly, that people at least give me a chance to speak and to judge me by the contents of my words and not on how I say them. Yet in this case, I judged this person before even giving him a second thought.

It's good to be humbled every now and then. It reminds me that, even though my stuttering is annoying and frustrating, I'm not the center of the universe, and other people are going through similar and sometimes much worse afflictions.