Let’s say we were swallowed by a whale.
At first glance, we would most likely agree that this is a bad thing. I mean, there you are, swimming along peacefully and BAM! You find yourself trapped. It’s dark, the water is salty and everything smells of fish. We all have days like those though, don’t we? You know, in a manner of speaking, of course. Days where we feel like we’ve been consumed by a whale and surely there is no way out of it. We can’t live up to our own expectations and we feel abandoned by hope. Eventually we do live through it and always we learn something along the way, making us stronger, smarter and more proficient at, well,… life.
This perception was not lost on Walt Disney. His own life was full of “coincidences” and chance meetings that eventually lead him to his wife, his career and crafted him into the Walt Disney we know and love. Life was not always easy for him, but he kept reaching, building his experiences up like stair steps until he reached the top.
All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney
This Disney lifestyle idea that everything happens for a reason is evident in several Disney movies. Faith, trust and just a little bit of pixie dust is all we need to carry us through our days. Out of the hundreds of scenes that reflect this belief, one of the most poignant is from Finding Nemo.
Marlin, that scared little Clownfish, believes that he can control his destiny…silly little finned creature. Fear is the opposite of faith and clearly he is lacking in faith and all filled up with fear. Scarcely did he appreciate that the “chance” meeting with that spacey, blue, Regal Tang fish would be such a remarkable twist of fate.
Following many challenges, they find themselves in the belly of a whale after Marlin regrettably put his trust in Dory. It breaks your heart to see him throwing himself against the whale’s teeth, completely in vain, trying to get out. The feeling of utter despair washes over him as he slowly sinks to the bottom. Free-spirited Dory plays and savors her new-found surroundings and offers the simple advice that only one with unabashed faith could. The critical moment occurs when the whale says, “It’s time to let go. Everything is going to be alright.” Dory simply says ok and begins to free fall. Marlin grabs her and pleads, “How do you know? How do you know something bad isn’t going to happen?” Dory answers, “I don’t.” Of course, she was right to let go. That was her purpose for being there.
This is faith.
Throughout the movie, Dory does her part to help the situation. Unknown to either of them, she is most helpful simply by being herself. How many times did Marlin not take her seriously or have confidence in her? How many times did she expect to be deserted? How many times have we felt like Dory? There is a lesson here of faith in circumstances as well as assurance in one’s own abilities. Sometimes in this competitive world we all just need be the best “me” we can knowing that is what is meant for us. It may not be the popular choice, but it is the right choice. Kind of takes some of the pressure off, huh?
The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique. ~Walt Disney
…And sometimes we need to know when it is time to let go. You may be surprised at what gifts life brings you when you relinquish only a smidge of control. I mean, it actually is just a pseudo management anyhow if you really think about it.
Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner. ~Walt Disney
Therefore the next time you find yourself in the belly of whale, take a lesson from Dory and have a little faith. You might find your own Mickey Mouse.