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If you have not seen the Disney movie McFarland USA, go.  Great movie, if you like stories about winning.  I know, I know it is Disney and “based” on a true story.  The magic of Disney however makes me forget the “based” part and I take it all as gospel.  Did he really ride a Barbie bike alongside his runners?  If he did not, please do not tell me.  I liked the movie.

A few take-aways:

The power of Loyalty

The depiction of the Hispanic community, and particularly the loyalty to their family and friends, was energizing. Being a part of a tribe is life-giving.  Even when there is dysfunction, and this movie did not gloss over it, the families are still largely intact. We really do need each other.

The power of Inclusion

The McFarland community was not waiting for the White family with open arms.  The Whites had to earn the trust of the families in the community.  Once they did, they were treated as family and full fledged tribal members.  The loyalty was fully extended to them. At one point, Mrs. White says of her new extended Hispanic family, “This is the first time I have ever really felt at home.”

The power of Hard-work

The farm pickers’ community works hard.  When it extends to sports, they have a reserve that we comfortable folks do not.

The power of Dreaming

What if?  What if you lose your job and have to start all over in a crummy place?  What if you start a cross-country team and have no knowledge of the sport?  What if you think you could run at the state level?  Or go to college?  Or break the cycle of the “pickers” life?

Yes, the magic of Disney shines well in this flick.  Don’t miss the good parts of life.



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