On my vacation this week I observed several things.First, Joy is contagious.
Second, people can be incredibly kind. I met a family who had driven all the way from Maine with their handicapped daughter and their service dog. The man gave up his seat on the shuttle bus for me. They were the nicest people and told me that they lived in the same town as Stephen King. He definitely had the Yankee accent!Most of the Disney employees were super friendly and asked us where we were from. One cashier was a college intern from Alaska; one of our waiters was from Brooklyn, New York; another from Hawaii; and the tall blonde with the beautiful smile who waited on us at the Princess breakfast was from Norway. And third, it proves that no matter what your native language is, or your native dress, put on your Nikes and a pair of Mickey ears, and the world is a better place.
Once upon a time there was a grandmother who had always wanted to go to a magical place and take her grandchildren along...a place with castles and Princesses and where storybook characters come to life.
I finally went to Disney World for the first time. Four days and four parks and my legs didn't give out at all. In four days we ate at an Irish Pub, dined at a Polynesian restaurant with a bread pudding that was to die for; ate breakfast with the Princesses at a royal Scandinavian castle; dined with Chef Mickey and had breakfast at Hollywood & Vine with more Disney characters, and last, ate dinner at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and gang. We finished just as the fireworks started with a great view. Some of the highlights of our vacation was going on the safari, seeing a stunt car show, taking the Great Movie Ride, and seeing "The Festival of the Lion King." My granddaughters got to go on all of their favorite rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride and Space Mountain and my son-in-law waited patiently with the girls when they didn't have a fast pass. It was a great vacation and I am looking forward to going back in the future.
"If, as claimed by humanism, man were born only to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to death, his task on earth evidently must be more spiritual: not a total engrossment in everyday life, not the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then their carefree consumption. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become above all an experience of moral growth: to leave life a better human being than one started it." from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Harvard address in 1978. You can read the full speech here.
I came across this speech recently while searching for something else. In light of what is going on in the news today, particularly in our country, Solzhenitsyn's words sound prophetic.