One of the most creative movies of all time, “The Wizard of Oz,” gave us that unforgettable cast of loveable misfits: the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow without a brain, and the heartless Tin Man. And it was the charming and innocent character of Dorothy, lost in a strange land and looking only for her way home to Kansas, that led them all to fulfill their greatest hopes — but not without first facing the dread of their greatest fears. They were certain that in Oz they would find what they were looking for; they thought that if anyone could help them satisfy their dreams, it must be such a powerful figure as the Wizard.
The intimidating ruler of Oz was most unapproachable. Yet together, the Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and Dorothy, along with her little dog, Toto, finally met the Wizard and made their pleas. The story’s value comes to light when even the Wizard, who had billed himself as the “Great and Mighty Oz,” was revealed to be a simple, lowly, insecure man hidden behind a curtain where he pulled levers and pushed buttons to make this “wizard” appear superhuman and untouchable. Surprisingly, it was only after he was thus unmasked that his real powers as a man were released: those of honesty, accessibility and wisdom.
And then, by simply reminding them of what they already had within themselves, this man was able to help the cast of characters led by Dorothy. It was by his simple words of encouragement and symbolic gifts that he gave courage (a medal) to the Lion, thought (a diploma) to the Scarecrow, and compassion (a heart/watch) to the Tin Man. As for Dorothy, the “Good Witch from the East” told her finally that all along she had possessed the power to return home, but that she needed to discover for herself that “there’s no place like home.”
Day 9 Guide
I believe that life itself is the best teacher. Facing difficulties and battling the forces of self-doubt – these are part of life’s lesson plan. And the wisdom is in seeing your own humanity — to be honest with yourself and others and to be available to help others who are lost in fear and doubt.
The Wizard’s greatest fear of being accessible turned out also to be his greatest strength. Don’t hide behind a curtain; reveal your true self.
© 2005, Levi Hill