Monday, August 6, 2012

Happiest Blog On Earth...Integrity in Disney

Partners - Not just a Statue!

Well, it's been awhile, hasn't it? I could list off SO many excuses for not blogging more but...hey, in an election year who needs to hear more excuses! Suffice it to say, life's gotten in the way of more, shall we say enjoyable pursuits. Now that the house cleaning item is taken care of, on with the blog....

So, a lot has happened since my last blog. Joyce and I launched a new podcast (Lost Flight 815), we finally had some pretty good Monsoon storms, oh, and the U.S. put a man on the moon! Can you BELIEVE IT? THE MOON! Ok, well, that last one was just to point out how long it's been since I've blogged (sorry, my ill-sense of humor!). But, anyway...I've got a lot to blog about but there is one topic in particular that has been stewing in my soul lately and I really felt I needed to share it.

Integrity. Yep. Integrity. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, integrity is one of the most important and oft cited terms of virtue for the human species. They claim integrity refers to a quality of a person's character that refers to wholeness, or the purity of something. For example, when one has integrity, they bring a complete honesty to something. They act with a high moral regard. More often than not, a person with high integrity acts with the best interest of the "whole", to advance or bring a positive light upon something. In other words, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You're probably asking me right now why I'm imparting a philosophy lesson on you. Well my friends, read on. My point will become clearer!

When Joyce and I became part of the Disney community through our podcast, Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast, we made the very conscience choice to present the items we claim as fact with the highest amount of integrity we possibly can. If we are not 100% certain of something, we either don't present it, or we present it with the disclaimer that the information has not yet been confirmed. And we've found MANY others in the Disney community who feel the same way: Lisa Robertson from Babes In Disneyland (in fact, she's started an Integrity in Blogging movement that we are part of); Mr. Daps from Daps Magic and Geeks Corner (VERY integrity driven organization); our own podcast sponsor and fellow podcaster Randy Crane from Mouse Ear Vacations and the Stories of the Magic podcast is VERY integrity driven. There are many more I could mention, but to honor the constraints of time, won't.

It's extremely important to act with integrity when you tell others that you are a "source of Disney news". Let's face it, there are so many people who LOVE Disney, and Disneyland, Disney World, etc, that are eager to learn things about their favorite passion. And there is an equal number of sources available to gather all kinds of information on Disney - some very honorable and reputable, and some...well, not so much so. Now, I'm not pointing any fingers at all, because that's not my style, but I just want everyone to be aware that there are sources out there that will take rumors and notions of rumors and pass them off as fact. That's dangerous. You see, if I'm a newbie (someone new to Disney) who just wants to absorb all I can about Disneyland, and I stumble across a source that says that Disneyland is going to give away FREE Annual Passports for the next week, and I go to Disneyland only to find that this is in fact...NOT true, well my view on Disney is now quite sullied. I begin to tell others that this happened, then they tell others, and by the time this completes the cycle, the story is now that Disneyland promised this guy a free Annual Passport and then told him NO. Doesn't matter if the story is true, it is what it becomes. And yes, I know this may sound like a rather exaggerated example and it is, but the concept is the same. Rumors are just that: rumors. Not the truth, not fact. If that original source had instead relayed that the Annual Passport story was only a rumor and not confirmed, the outcome would have been different. And this may sound pretty unbelievable, but the truth is, there are sources out there passing rumors off as fact. Intentionally, unintentionally, doesn't really matter. If a story does not come from Disney, then it's only a rumor and should be presented as such. Just my opinion.

Joyce and I love Disneyland. We love DISNEY. Since my first visit to Disneyland in 2007 I've been head over heels crazy about the place. I feel that Disneyland represents a purity and innocence that a lot of us really crave in our lives. Walt Disney inspired countless people to pursue their dreams relentlessly and to act with the utmost integrity. Yes, he was a businessman. Yes the Walt Disney Company IS a business but you know what? The IDEA of Disney ISN'T a business and the IDEA of Disney is what should be protected. By acting with integrity, we can protect that idea. For those of us who embark on the "mission" to be, for lack of a better term, ambassadors for the Disney Magic, it is our responsibility to act with honor and integrity. To report NEWS, not rumors. If we've heard or learned something that MAY be true and feel we just NEED to pass that information along, we should tack on the disclaimer that this just may not be true, it just may be a rumor, matter what we do, we should always Partner with Disney.

So, to close out this soap-box blog, I'd like to offer some advice to all who come to this happy place, unless the news comes directly from Disney or a Disney approved source, take it for what it's worth: rumor. Seek out more information before you pass that rumor along. Oh, and remember....Make It A MICKEY Day!!! ~~~ Al