Saturday, March 24, 2007

I was sitting at lunch today...

I was sitting at lunch today looking over my draft of last night's post about joy and fun. It struck me that it might appear that I was thumping my chest saying look at what I’ve done. Know that this was never the intention of my post.

My hope was to provide something to consider if you might ever find yourself hanging out in the dark recesses of doubt and insecurity. With that in mind, let me elaborate on my personal discovery in that moment.

When I hit bottom yesterday, Christina gave me a loving nudge that reminded me of the people that surround me everyday. Extraordinary, loving people. I know I said that yesterday, but it’s worth repeating. Each of us are surrounded by them every day. They love us unconditionally.

There are some that we know. They’re obvious like the family, friends and co-workers that I mentioned yesterday. But there are many more than we might imagine. Your support structure could include people we’ve long since forgotten like teachers, old neighbors, classmates and distant family. People that we haven’t thought of in years. But they might just as easily be total strangers, like fire fighters, police officers and social workers. Many are seemingly unrelated, people you may never meet face to face. These are the ones that I want to talk about.

Yesterday at Disney’s California Adventure, I experience something that could have only been possible because of a group of caring, loving human beings. Disney produced Golden Dreams, a short film about the dreams that have and continue to make California great. The film was both calming and inspiring. So much so, that its closing song pushed me to a level of emotion that I rarely reach. It was an awe-inspiring moment.

I’ll be the first to admit that I often wear empathy on my sleeve, usually in the form of tears wiped aware when something truly moves or inspires me. It’s happened while watching television, a movie or a live show. It might have come during a sporting event or while reading a particularly poignant story. This experience yesterday however was one of the more intense moments and came at absolutely the right point to carry me the full 180º from earlier in the day. I found myself at the point of almost outright sobbing, the big loud stuff that you find at funerals. Like most people, I find it uncomfortable totally loosing it in the presence of total strangers in a darkened theater, fortunately I held on and when the end of the film came, I was able to regain my composure and exit the theater. I have to say though that while restrained, that release gave me the lift that I needed to complete the journey that Christina had started me on two hours earlier.

It would be an understatement to say that this moment in the theater would not have been possible without the caring, loving producers, writers, technicians and performers that created it. The emotions that I experienced could only emerge from the core of our existence and in this case it was triggered by a group of people that I’ve never met, but am now forever grateful to because their gift disguise as a theme park movie, made my day and I am now better as a result. The best part to all of this is that this same experience is there for anyone who enters that theater and watches this same film. For some this film might not be that big a deal, but for those that it does touch, move or inspire, it can be a huge lift. For those that it doesn’t connect with, not to worry, since there are plenty of other people out there ready and waiting to touch move and inspire them when they need it most.

And in the end, the world is a better place because of the support that we provide for each other.

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