This has been a horrible week. While there’s no need to get into all the details, as everyone at this point pretty much knows them all, it’s not a stretch to say that it’s been devastating, heartbreaking, and emotionally draining for those of us watching…..and beyond that and so much worse for those whose lives were directly affected.
Like so many, I have struggled this week, trying to make sense of things that just don’t make sense, and to find words when there just are none. Sadness at the events, tears for the families who lost loved ones, despair that this is now the world that we give our children, and frustration and anger at the reactions of many to these horrific events. Social media is a double edged sword for sure: it offers so much good to us but at the same time, has become a place for many who have no problem saying horrible and cruel things online that they would never in a million years say in person. People being mean just makes the terrible events even worse.
As a travel professional with ties to the Florida theme parks, everything that has happened this week just hit home a little more, because what I do is basically to help families create happy vacation memories…in a place that has seen far more sorrow this week than happiness. Probably the ultimate cruel irony is that these events all took place in Orlando, the vacation capital of the world.
Thinking about this today though, helped me to realize that in this horrible, sad, crazy, confusing and maddening world we live in, we *need* a place like Walt Disney World….a place where the emphasis is on happiness, and kindness, and dreams, and magic. Yes, sadly, the real world intrudes into that World sometimes in a terrible way, but that doesn’t mean that what we love about Disney isn’t special or important. Rather, I think it makes what the Disney parks provide even more special and more important: a refuge from the real world, where good is stronger than evil, where wishing makes a dream come true, and where love conquers all.
As I’ve written in the past about what makes Disney so special:
We come, we play, we laugh, we share, we pretend for a few days that there are no worries, no cares, no problems that can’t be solved. In other words, we create magic.
In the world we live in, we NEED Disney to remind us to hope. And to dream. And to be kind. And to love. Especially to love.
Hope, dreams, kindness, love…..that is magic right there, my friends. Magic we desperately need.