In Walt Disney’s Boot

In Walt Disney’s Boot – Walt Disney did his best to avoid asking his parents for anything. Elias as well as Flora Disney raised a frugal family in the Midwest beginning as failed farmers, then entrepreneurs in need of capital.

In Walt Disney's Boot
In Walt Disney’s Boot

However, when he came across an old pair of boots with toes made of metal and a metal toe, young Walt needed them. They were a practical gift, he reasoned, and would help with his job of delivering newspapers–especially when it snowed.

In a rare act that he indulged, the parents gave in. At Christmas that year, under the tree was a pair of genuine leather boots that were waiting for Walt. He wore them all day long and was often wandering through the city of Kansas City in them, like any child who is proud of the latest prized possession would do. Then he kept the word by wearing them both morning and evening to hand out the newspaper.

On a spring day, shortly after completing his route, Walt crossed the street to go to the soda fountain in the neighborhood. When he arrived the walk, he spotted a block of ice in the middle of the street , and was unable to resist the urge to throw it.

When Walt’s feet collided with the ice block, something sharp hit his boot. A rush of pain rushed across his leg. When he looked to the side, he noticed the horseshoe nail protruding out of his boot the boy screamed. The nail had pierced the leather outer layer and drove right into the big toe of his foot, causing it to freeze his foot and causing a chunk of ice.

For the duration of twenty hours, Walt cried for help–he shouted, but nobody did. Then, a truck driver stopped and rushed to help by cutting away the ice before taking Walt to the physician. The nail was removed using two pliers, and giving a shot of tetanus, the doctor ordered Walt home with no painkillers.

He was bedridden over the next two weeks. In the following days the the young Walt Disney had a lot to consider, such as what he would do with the remainder of his existence. At just sixteen an adolescent in the beginning of the 20th century had little time to develop into an adult. College was not in the cards due to the Disneys lacking in resources.

He could not be either a doctor or lawyer. If his family have money, Walt’s bad academic performance and inability to concentrate at school would have dragged him in. His chances were slim. Was he going to follow in the footsteps of his father or make his own way like his older brother Roy did? A break from the normal routine enabled Walt to contemplate the possibilities.

Over the course of those two weeks Walt must have considered numerous things. Maybe he was thinking about his friendship with his schoolmate Walter Pfeiffer, whose family opened him up to the wonder of theatre. Perhaps he thought of the way he was drawn and entertaining his classmates with his cartoons. He might have considered the time that he along with his sister Ruth were home in a secluded area and discovered a barrel of tar on the outside.

Walt claimed it would make excellent paint but his sister resisted. He assured her that it was going to come off The two went on to decorate the outside of the house by painting pictures of homes and dark Zygzags. The zigzags never came off.

We aren’t sure exactly what Walt was thinking about during the two weeks he was in the hospital bed. However, what we can say, according to the biographer Bob Thomas, is that at the point that his foot was healed and he was able to deliver reports, “he had decided to become cartoonist.” 10 What was previously a distraction became a path to a goal.

He was in need of something that would disrupt his comfortzone, something difficult to help him understand what was most important. It wasn’t because the nail was bad, it was the method that made him listen. As painful as it was it was effective. Sometimes we all require moments that make us awake, and that demand our focus.

These are the moments that we don’t expect them, regardless of whether we’d like do or not. It’s not our job to be patient or question what caused them, but to appreciate the opportunity they present. Walt Disney used an injury to reflect on what he wanted to be doing as a young man. In her sadness, Jody Noland recognized a possibility, perhaps even an obligation, to offer others a sense of comfort.

In the moment that Eric Miller stopped wondering why his five-year-old son was diagnosed with brain cancer and chose to enjoy every minute his life as well as the lives of all those who were around him changed. If you are able to see the possibilities of your life being lived, you also have to choose.

Are you going to be buried in regret and wonder why this incident has happened to you, or take action and make the most of your situation, and allow it to transform into a chance? Listening is where you will discover your purpose begins but it’s not the place it comes to an end.

Our ears only get us only so far before our hands need to complete the remainder of the task.

= In Walt Disney’s Boot =


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