For those of you who have never noticed, celebration buttons are a big deal in the Disney Parks. There are buttons for birthdays, 1st visits, getting engaged, and getting married. In Disneyland there are buttons for graduations, 1st haircuts, and anniversaries. It should be no surprise then to realize that one of the first stops we made at the Magic Kingdom was City Hall to get the Princess and the Duchess their graduation buttons. Sadly, they did not have specifically graduation buttons, but the cast member wrote ‘Graduation 2017’ on a generic Celebration button and we were on our way. The down side of the sharpie edit it that it would rub off every day and have to be refreshed.
During one such refreshing, we go to talking with the cast member. The Princess asked if he could add a layer of tape over the top of the button to keep the writing from rubbing off. He was impressed with her problem solving skills and wanted to know what other tips and tricks we knew. The conversation eventually got around to trip planning. He was very impressed with my dining reservation skills, but what impressed him the most was the fact I got us FastPasses for Flights of Passage in Avatar land. When I booked them, Pandora hadn’t even opened yet. I explained that after reading the description of the two rides I guessed that (1) the line would be longer for the thrill ride, (2) it would be more fun, and (3) it would be the ride we wanted to experience more than once. It happened to turn out that I was right on all three points. The cast member thought I was brilliant and presented me the button above when he gave the girls theirs. I was delighted.
I did not wear my button around the parks after that day. I had to explain it to people frequently. Interestingly, it was cast members who would ask me about it most often. I felt like I had to tell the whole story to justify why I was wearing the button. I couldn’t just smile and say, “It was a gift. Isn’t it cool?” I needed to explain that I wasn’t bragging or somehow putting myself above others. I didn’t want people to get the wrong impression. In retrospect though, I am a kind of Disney expert. I am the person friends contact when they want to plan a trip. I am person people ask when they have a question about Disney movies. I have a new acquaintance who has a little girl and who wants to sit down with me to discuss how he can raise her to be strong and independent while still able to watch the Disney Princesses with all their historical flaws. I write this blog. By many standards, I am indeed a Disney expert but wearing that explicit label made me uncomfortable.
We are taught to be humble and unassuming. But why? Why shouldn’t we embrace our gifts and display them for everyone to see? Why should recognizing our talents make us uncomfortable? In fact how can people know that we have knowledge and skills that they can avail themselves of if we do not broadcast that fact?
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people so they can see the good things you do.” Matthew 5: 15-16
Claim your awesomeness! Be an expert or an authority. Be the smartest or most skilled person in a room. Be the person that others know they can go to, rely on, and ask questions of. Don’t be ashamed. Be proud and use your knowledge and skills to benefit those around you. Celebrate you.