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The State of Disneyland and the Nation

I spent a few days at Disneyland with my wife last week. We went without our kids while attending a conference. Don’t worry about the kids, they’ve already had plenty of Disney in their lifetime. While traversing the Magic Kingdom, I noticed the following:

1. People seem to go with the flow better today than when I was a kid. We spent a lot of time in both Disneyland and California Adventure. During our stay, my wife and I both noticed how relaxed most people seemed to be with the long lines and oppressive crowds. When I was young, I remember seeing a lot more family and marital meltdowns. This week, people seemed to be downright happy, or at least rather at ease, with whatever happened.

2. The youth of America were pleasant. We went on a couple days that were also designated grad nights. On grad nights a large mass of graduating seniors roam the parks. Guess what? They were, for the most part, incredibly respectful and astoundingly normal. I saw all kinds of kind and thoughtful behavior exhibited by a bunch of happy, smiling graduates.

3. America is wonderfully diverse. I regularly travel to Southern California, so I wasn’t particularly surprised by the diversity that surrounded our experience. However, I was once again filled with a great appreciation of what America is and is becoming. At Disney, there are so many wonderfully complex multigenerational families that express what is so powerful about America. It’s not just that different ethnicities and races are abiding with each other, it’s that we are marrying and becoming new expressions of the face of America. America is becoming more and more the face of the world. That truth is so clearly observable at Disneyland.

4. Society is not crumbling into an apocalyptic abyss. Too often, people embrace an all or nothing worldview of the progress of humanity. Yes, there are lots of really terrible things happening in our world. And yes, there are some areas of civilization that are getting worse. However, there are also a lot of really good signs of life. Men carrying their babies in slings, using the diaper changing station and showing genuine affection to their children. Women treated by their husband as equals in decision making and parenting responsibilities. Families communicating to each other out of mutual respect and genuine kindness. Society being good to one another in line. Sure, there are exceptions. But I saw a lot of things that made me very happy about humanity.

I love humans! I’m glad God created every single person I walked with at the Happiest Place on Earth….although I wish a few of them had chosen not to visit on the same day.

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2 Responses to The State of Disneyland and the Nation

  1. Lucas J. Draeger June 9, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

    What an uplifting post. I needed that!
    I agree that the narrative of moral decline that’s so prevalent among conservatives can really be overdone.
    It’s simply not true that everything only gets worse. Over the centuries, we’ve learned (most of us have) that slavery is a bad thing, that peace can be accomplished in ways other than the dominion of the strong over the meek, and that there are more effective ways of child rearing than beating a kid when he gets out of line.
    Now, if we can just learn to cut down on sugar and trans-fats, we’ll REALLY be getting somewhere!

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