Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Decency

As I read once more the life of Walt Disney, I realize that what is often interpreted as Walt's ego was Walt's decency; his decency to believe in himself, to fight, with his head up, against a world that, for all accounts, was clearly against him. In searching for excellence, Walt Disney's fight had the decency of being, first of all, a fight with himself: the unforgiving effort of constant self-overcoming.
Disney's weapons weren't those of aggression or mere assertion over enemies, but that of demanding from himself and, as a consequence, giving the world around him the only genuine way of measuring-up to oneself: impeccability. His demand of excellence to his product, much beyond being a mere gimmick to beat the market, or a conceited wish to be "the king of animation"(Gabler) reflected the dignity, the humbleness and the generosity of only giving one's best. For, as everyone knows, Disney was harder on himself than he was on his team.
Disney fight was the eternal and unforgiving effort that is needed to keep one's heart clean.


SamLand said...

I always found power in this Walt Quote:

"Some of us just wouldn't be satisfied with just carrying out a routine job and being happy. Yet I envied those people. I had a brother who I really envied because he was a mailman. But he's the one that had all the fun. He had himself a trailer, and he used to go out and go fishing, and he didn't worry about payrolls and stories and picture grosses or anything. And he was the happy one. I always said, "He's the smart Disney."

If people are motivated by either 1) the image others have of you 2) you own self-enlightenment or 3) being a part of something bigger than oneself then Walt was the rare individual that had multiple motivations. Most people are only motivated by one thing at a time.

Great post. thank you

Matt Hunter Ross said...

Yes - great post. You know, I sometimes find myself rereading Disney bios (or scouring the web for filed-related pics) if I'm in a funk and need some inspiration, but when you think about it, what did he have? ...himself. That's what's amazing to me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments! I love this quotation of Walt, and the observations SamLand put below it, and it is pungent what Matt Ross said: Walt had only himself! Only, but inexhaustible!