Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Heritage And Ideals

"Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange things, ideas and feelings."

Walt Disney (1901-1966)

No photo maybe captures the legacy of Walt Disney more than this one I took yesterday, 7 November 11. There was even an eagle in the sky as the photo was taken.

Failing his first time in business, a Disney cartoon studio in Kansas City called Laugh-O-Gram Studios, Walt Disney was unable to manage money, but not yet without his ideas and feelings.

He took those and developed what we all know now as a Disney subculture in our society. And with that subculture Walt Disney has transformed the lives of countless children throughout the world.

He continues to do so even after his death nearly two generations ago.

His greatest idea, for which the Disney Board of Directors thought he was nuts, was to purchase the rights to 88,000 acres of land in swampy, hot central Florida. He did this before air conditioning became so widespread and popular. His Board did not think people would want to venture into that heat and humidity to have "fun."

They were wrong.

Of course, this idea was the very essence of free enterprise. And, if he had it today, it would not even get off the ground for a zillion reasons ranging from unions to environmentalism to highway planning to local gubment disapproval.

One way Disney measured the validity of his ideas was to see if everyone on his Board thought them crazy. If so, he went ahead. That became a successful gage.

Another idea was a totally planned community where 20,000 people could live in harmony and their needs met.

He called it EPCOT - Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.

The community was laid out with everything needed - from personal goods and services, education, religion, energy, everything- provided for its inhabitants.

It has not come to fruition, of course, but it lends an ear to listening to the inside of Disney's mind and his thinking of others.

This photo of the famous Epcot Spaceship Earth was taken by my daughter on 4 November 2011, during our visit. That is her attempt at a signature on the lower left. What she captured says many things metaphorically, and I think Walt Disney would approve.

No comments:

Post a Comment