It’s no secret that Disney has taught us a lot over the years. Here’s a look back at some of my favorite Disney life lessons. (We’re ignoring all of those get married after three days bits because they resolved that quite neatly in Frozen).
Pocahontas, Bambi: Respect nature
In a time when there are public service announcements telling kids to put down the video games and play outside, Pocahontas’ message of respecting nature is especially important. Nature is both powerful and fragile, and small actions can have big consequences.
Hercules: Always do what you think is right, following your own instincts and ignoring the negative voices around you that would lead you astray.
Cinderella: Don’t lose heart. Be patient, have faith, work hard, and you can rise above your situation. Never let being subjugated crush your spirit. If Cinderella can smile and sing while scrubbing the floor, so can I. So can I.
101 Dalmatians: Never give up if your family is at stake. Always fight for them.
Then, when you’ve won them back, love them.
Brave: Trust that your family is going to try to do what’s best for you. Communicate. Listen. Trust yourself, as well.
But not witches. Don’t trust mysterious strangers who promise to make everything better, simple and easy. Most things in life worth having aren’t easy to come by.
Frozen: Don’t hide things from those you love. Be open with your heart; you’d be surprised what they can handle. Don’t bottle up your feelings.
Meet the Robinsons: Keep moving forward.
The Lion King: Those we love are never truly gone, because they live on in us. In our memories of them, in their habits we’ve copied, and in our hearts.
Thank you, Disney. You’ve helped make generations of kids better by encouraging empathy and teaching us how to be our best selves.