Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mulan and Everyday Heroes

Disney truth: until recently I had never seen Mulan. Not sure why, especially when one of my favourite Broadway star is the singing voice of Mulan: Lea Salonga. My first exposure to Mulan was at a parade during my first visit to Disneyland in 1998. I took a ton of pictures even though I had no idea about the story or the characters.

You would think this would have peaked my interest. But I came home from my first visit to Disneyland thankful for the memories I shared with my Mother and never gave Mulan a second thought - until last night. I really believe that I wasn't meant to watch this movie until now, because it truly resonated with me in more ways than I ever expected.

Recently my home city Calgary, along with most of beautiful Southern Alberta, was ravaged by devastating floods. Beautiful National Parks were torn apart. Towns were completely submerged. And the heart and soul of my city was completely flooded. I have worked in the downtown core since I was 16 and I had a sense that it was indestructible. When I woke up last Friday June 21, 2013 to pictures of the city that I grew up in fully submerged in water, I couldn't believe my eyes.

A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013. The two rivers that converge on the western Canadian city of Calgary are receding Saturday after floods devastated much of southern Alberta province, causing at least three deaths and forcing thousands to evacuate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
How does this relate to Mulan? Mulan tells a story about a young women who defies all stereotypes and fights for who she is and what she believes in. But more importantly she fights for the people she loves and her country. Mulan is an everyday hero. I have watched as everyday heroes, just like Mulan, have revived and saved my city! My city has pulled together to show that we are all neighbours and that we will help each other no matter what our circumstances. I have learned that true heroes are the people who roll up their sleeves and get dirty to rip and tear apart a complete stranger's basement to save it from disintegrating. #DirtyisSexy!

After our first day of volunteering: my sister in-law Melanie (left) and myself (right)
Day 2: Team Lauzon! My sister in-law Melanie (left), my father in-law Gaetan (middle) and myself (right)
After a full day of volunteering: #DirtyisSexy
Although my neighbourhood was not directly affected by the floods, my city was and I wasn't going to just sit around and watch. I was one of the thousands who joined in to help. I am proud of my city and the people I have met over the last couple of days. I do not consider myself a hero, but I do know I am walking beside them.

The great group of volunteers that worked hard all day to gut a stranger's basement. Thank you all!