Galatians 5:22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.
Randy Pausch began his famous Last Lecture telling of his diagnosis,
If you look at my CAT scans, there are approximately 10 tumors in my liver, and the doctors told me 3-6 months of good health left. That was a month ago, so you can do the math… So that is what it is. We can’t change it, and we just have to decide how we’re going to respond to that. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.
Pausch goes on to say later in the lecture,
…you just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore . I think I’m clear on where I stand on the Tigger/Eyore debate. Never lose the childlike wonder. It’s just too important.
Let me give you a little example from A.A. Milne’s books on the contrast between Tigger people and Eeyore people. Eeyore s, like Moses on the mount, look at life through the glasses of gloom. Eeyore s are gloomy about themselves,
Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water. “Pathetic,” he said. “That’s what it is. Pathetic.” He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again.
“As I thought,” he said. “No better from this side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that’s what it is.”
Eeyore s are gloomy about life,
“Good morning, Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning, which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”
Eeyore s are so gloomy, even at their happiest, they bring no joy, only a little less gloom.
“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
Finally, Eeyores have a tremendous dislike for Tiggers.
Eeyore walked all round Tigger one way, and then turned and walked round him the other way.
“What did you say it was?” he asked.
“Ah!” said Eeyore.
“He’s just come,” explained Piglet.
“Ah!” said Eeyore again.
He thought for a long time and then said: “When is he going?”
On the other hand, Tiggers have a tremendous capacity for bringing joy to every situation, Tiggers are so confident that no matter how bad something may go, they can make joy from it.
“There’s no difference between plunging 10,00 feet to the jagged rocks below and falling out of bed,” said Tigger.
“Oh, really?” asked Piglet
“Sure,” Tiger replied, “except for the splat at the end they’re practically similar.”
Walt Disney saw the difference in people, and he built the parks to give Tiggers a place to play. Disney said,
Why do we have to grow up?
I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures…
Disney saw people in the park who kept Tiggers’ child-like sense of joy in their lives. I am confident he didn’t even have to look as far as the rides. They are easy to spot.
I have a theory. See if you don’t agree. Next time you go to Disney World, an amusement park, movie, or any place with a large group, watch the people in line. My thesis is, you can tell who will enjoy the park or event the most by watching them while they wait. People who have the most fun in line will likely have the most fun on the ride, at the show, or the event. I believe the converse is also true, those who are the most miserable in line will likely enjoy the ride, the show, or the event the least.
This is no new theory, more than fifty years before Walt Disney set up his first ride, Kahlil Gibran observed, The appearance of things changes according to our emotions and though we see magic and beauty in them, the magic and beauty are really in us.
Read more insights on the spirituality of Disney characters in Moses and Mickey Mouse: How to Find Holy Ground in The Magic Kingdom and Other Unusual Places.
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