If Disney Ran Our Holidays

I just read Fred Lee’s book, If Disney Ran Your Hospital. Several years ago, I spent a few days at Disney World and never heard a child cry or people argue the whole time we were there. I did hear lots of laughter and knew I was on a super holiday! Disney’s genius lay in requiring his staff to be friendly, cheerful, helpful, and sympathetic.

 When I talk with other folks about this refreshing book and how the Disney philosophy could go a long way toward improving any business and even any family, some say, “Oh, but Disney’s all about acting; the staff may not really feel like keeping up a perky persona all the time; it’s their job.

 Maybe, but the idea has great potential as a means toward keeping each other well. And we learn most of our skills by first acting them out. The holidays are a time when families gather from all directions just to touch base and catch up on each other’s lives. What if we all celebrated the holidays by making it our self-selected job to be friendly, cheerful, helpful, and sympathetic to whomever we meet? Obviously, this would be a tall order for most of us on a year-round basis, but just might be doable for the holidays. And, if it carries over beyond the holidays, no problem.

 This would mean setting aside our anger, complaints, resentment, one-upmanship habits…, you get the idea. Our one goal would be to do all we can to make the people around us feel included, happy, cared for, and heard.

 This philosophy isn’t far fetched. We are in the middle of the toughest season of the year, emotionally. Our support for each other strengthens and enlightens us.  The new babe symbolizes our hope that together we can move forward  in the new year with a fresh start, cared for, and with limitless possibilities. Disney got that one right.


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