— Meem (Mom),What would Dory do?
— Dory would first think about a plan. Then think about the consequences, and analyze it!
— No, Meem that’s like Merlin. Dory would apply the plan that comes spontaneously!
The conversation with my 11 year old continued. It was our mom-daughter special time yesterday. We walked down couple of kilometers to the neighborhood theater. Watched the Disney movie “Finding Dory“. Dory is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from short term memory loss. She gets separated from her parents.
With help of her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory gets to know that her family reunion would happen if she could save mom and dad from captivity. In the process, she saves a lot of marine lives. Finally gets reunited with parents. She could do this only because of flashbacks that reminded her of safety rules! Rules that were taught by her parents.
What are the messages from the movie? As we walked out from the theater, we started discussing. The walk back became as interesting as our onward journey. Here’s what we both zeroed upon:
1. Safety rules: Kids must remember the safety rules. As a very small fish, Dory’s parents taught her rules and plans. They taught her rhymes and songs to help her remember the safety rules. They taught her to repeat her name and her diagnosis. They showed her the path back home over and over and marked it for her. Because of this, Dory was able to reach home safely.
2. Friendship: Dory, Marlin, and little Nemo journey across the ocean to find Dory’s mom and dad. They only had one cryptic clue to go on: “The jewel of Monterey, California,” which Dory mutters in her sleep. In their quest, they get help from the turtles Crush and Squirt, Beethoven the whale, Hank the octopus, Destiny the shark, Ray the eagle, and other marine animals. Finding Dory teaches us that true friends are family, they risk their lives for a loved one.
3. Treat people better than they treat you: Dory became separated from her parents. She asked everyone she came across for help. But she was left alone. Then she met Marlin. He was on a mission to find his son Nemo. Dory knew she had to treat others better than they treated her. So she helped Marlin track down Nemo. Finally, she found many friends to help. What goes around comes around!
4. It always seems impossible until it is done: Dory never gave up. Many a times, she was lost. But she followed her heart. She took what logical thinking would consider undue risks. She lived in present and kept swimming. The team work of Dory and her friends despite hurdles helped them to reach their goal. Its a reminder that “Success depends on you“.
5. Coping with disability: Dory suffered from short term memory loss. But she taught herself to get around in the world with her disability. She learnt to make friends with some and avoid others who lacked good will. She managed to ask for help whenever required, and mastered the skill to solve problems. Her cognitive difficulties did not stop her from living in the community as an asset, and lead an independent life. The movie reminds us “Believe in yourself and you can do anything”
“Finding Dory” is a celebration of disability, differences, and friendship. It tells us not to lose our self-belief and strive to find our way out from adversity. Lessons not just for kids, but for all of us.
“Meem, during tough situations we should take a deep breath like Dory and listen to our heart.”, said my 11 year old. We continued walking our way back home.