For those that know not the mannerisms and quirks of the Manciati Clan, I wish to relate a particular past time my family has enjoyed since childhood—that is, watching Disney movies. One notable film that has been viewed as much as any other in my home and perhaps quoted more times than any other film is Alice in Wonderland. The story digresses from the book by Lewis Carroll but it takes on a bestowal of Disney ingenuity and entertainment. To most people Alice in Wonderland is not at the top of their list, but for the Italian-Ecuadorian Manciati’s living in Los Angeles, it can be said that the film is an integrated piece of our way of being and even our sense of humor. Curioser and curiouser, isn't it? Recently, the prophet Thomas S. Monson, who is also the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, alluded to the story of Alice in one of his discourses:
"When faced with significant choices, how do we decide? Do we succumb to the promise of momentary pleasure? To our urges and passions? To the pressure of our peers? Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice... You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?” The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.” Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny." http://new.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/the-three-rs-of-choice?lang=eng
What is the purpose of our lives? What road are we taking? Do we know our destiny? Are we just merely “going with the flow” and promenading purpose-less around Circle Street? Are we pacified and content with sitting on a bench enjoying the view? Perhaps we are stalled and have lulled away into subconciousness on an air mattress inside a pitched tent on the wayside. Perhaps we block the road for loved ones or strangers that earnestly seek to press forward? I think that sometimes it is necessary to pause on our journey to see where we are going, what road we are taking, and what we are becoming. If we have strayed from the path, there are always switchbacks that will get us back on course—the length of time to do so varying on how far we have strayed. There are many paths to take but we must most importantly remember that there is one that will lead us back to our Father.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
May we be like Alice and find the way home to our Father while overcoming the march hares, mad hatters, enraged queens, tweedle-dee's, and tweedle-dum's that may want to deter us from the straight and narrow way.