Happy 50th Anniversary to Disney’s It’s A Small World!

Happy 50th Anniversary to Disney’s It’s A Small World!

0 Disney Small World Intro 1

There’s a Bigger World Out There

When I was a toddler back in the 1970s, my favorite toy was a wind up pocket radio box that played “It’s a Small World”.  As the music played, it turned the little children from all around the world dressed in different clothing past my eyes.  I remember, as I grew, constantly asking my parents, “Where is this girl from?” and “Where is this boy from?”, while pointing to the toy.  My mother even saved the radio for my own kids to play with.

Fast forward 30-something years later, and here I am, learning everyday on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good from the women around the world who write for World Moms Blog.  I am lucky to be raising my children virtually with Tinne in Belgium, Susan Koh in Singapore, Tara B. in the USA, Nancy in Tanzania, Deborah Quinn in the UAE…and the list goes on!

And that little Disney radio box was one of my first indications that there was a greater world outside of my own suburban NJ neighborhood.

The #DisneySMMoms Conference

This past weekend I had my bags packed to head to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, this year in Disneyland in California.  What luck that it was going to be during the 50th Anniversary of Disney’s It’s a Small World! I excitedly checked into my flight…only having to call the airline and uncheck myself from my flight hours later because my kids, and at the very last-minute, my husband, fell sick. Taking care of the family is what, us, parents do, right? So, how to turn lemons into lemonade?  We asked the World Moms  Blog Contributors to send a photo in to be part of a special slide show where our site could commemorate Disney’s It’s a Small World 50th Anniversary.  On such short notice, take a look at what we came up with…I can’t stop watching it!!

VIDEO: Happy 50th Anniversary It’s a Small World from World Moms Blog Contributors!

Disney and UNICEF

And, if you’re a regular here, you know how much we love UNICEF when we chose them as our beneficiary for our Live Below the Line campaign. I’ve also traveled to Uganda to observe UNICEF’s programs on the ground firsthand with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.  It makes me happy to know that Disney has pledged to donate $150,000 to UNICEF to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of It’s a Small World.  You can join in, too. Build your own doll or record yourself at SmallWorld50.com, and for every doll, one dollar will be donated to UNICEF by Disney. This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.  

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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NEW ZEALAND: Boys Nurture, Too

NEW ZEALAND: Boys Nurture, Too


The author with her three boys

When my boys were small, it was easy to find ways for them to nurture. They all had dolls and stuffed animals to care for and I tried hard to let them hug me whenever they wanted, even when it was really inconvenient or awkward, or snotty, or tiring for me.

But it got harder, when they got older. Dolls gave way to LEGO and cars, then Nerf guns and Minecraft. Time away from me at kindy or school, or play-dates or sport, meant the hugs, while no less enthusiastic, were less frequent. I realised I had to be more lateral in seeing their nurturing: Life had changed and they had grown beyond my initial, pre-baby, plans and ideas.

It came to me in a flash of understanding, a few weeks ago, how much their being in service to me, is their way of nurturing and this is what I now focus on, for this part of their growth and development.

The times when they tell me to sit on the sofa and do nothing, I need to listen to them and do as they wish. And while I have always accepted their offerings of daisies and dandelions picked from the lawn and scrunched in tiny hands, I now have to accept them pouring my wine and cooking my dinner – without my input.

The times they volunteer to do these things, I need to keep my directions to myself and my appreciation flowing – despite my discomfort at sitting still while they work and despite the painful slowness with which they perform these tasks.

I have also learned to accept them opening doors for me. They do this not because they think I can’t manage to do so for myself, but because it’s a way they can show me that they care for me.

And I accept their offerings, not because I think I deserve this gesture because of my gender, or my age, or my position as grand dame in their lives, but because I see it for what it is: Nurturing of me, and something to be valued and encouraged.

Apologies have also become a point of nurturing. In our house, they are seen not as just social niceties and empty words, but as a starting point for repairing a battered emotional bond. After an apology-needing moment they almost always ask, “How can I make things better?” And are wonderful at showing they really do mean their words via their actions. They nurture their relationship with me, as I do with them.

No, they aren’t angel children who do these things all the time. They still need direction and they can be down right horrid. They are often disorganised and they are often messy, noisy and silly. But they do show their ability to nurture in a variety of ways. I just have to look at their actions from a different perspective, and accept their gestures as signs of the loving emotion behind them.

How do your children show you they care?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our writer in New Zealand and mother of 3 loving boys, Karyn.

The photograph used in this post is credited to the author.

Karyn Wills

Karyn is a teacher, writer and solo mother to three sons. She lives in the sunny wine region of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand in the city of Napier.

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