The Wizard of Oz is actually a great movie. To me it has so many life and spiritual lessons that I enjoy it immensely. I do hate that its available everywhere 24/7 in this present day. When I was a child it was only ONCE A YEAR! You savored it with popcorn, and the family sitting around the TV. Hold the calls and clear my calendar – The Wizard of Oz is on!
Personally I think Dorothy should have stayed in the color world. Auntie Em should have slapped, um, I mean pray — for that woman (who was the witch when the movie became color). She wanted to take Toto away, because down deep we all knew she was a mean hearted person. To me a good Christian woman would have intervened, and slapped – I mean prayed for her. But that’s another story.
My favorite line from the movie is, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” That line to speaks so much of life, leadership, parenting, or anything.
To recap the story quickly with the points I want to make are:
- Dorothy comes to Oz
- The munchkins & the good witch told Dorothy where to go
- She leaves and has three people go with her on the journey
- She make it to Oz
- Meets the Wizard
- The Wizard isn’t what she expects
- She goes home to black and white
The points I make are in relation to the perspective of those in wanting to meet the Wizard of Oz. If you know the story, The Wizard of Oz is actually a carnival performer who came to Oz when his hot air balloon is blown into the land from a storm.
Everyone in life can find their place in every arena within this story. There are three perspectives of participants in the Land of Oz:
- The first level is the Munchkins (even the good witch is in this category to me). These are the people who are like the patrons at the carnival. They sit and watch, encourage, and observe. They have no involvement whatsoever in the outcome of the story or the events in your life, and sometimes their life. These are the people who sit in the stands.These are commentators. So many today sit and tweet or post about life. They post how angry they are at the driver in front of them while they drive to work. How they are going to straighten out the injustices of politics. The wrongs and ills that need be corrected, and all they do is post posts on social media. They dance and sing songs, conversing one with another about what should be done, and where the answers are, but they never lift a foot to walk down the yellow brick road to change anything in the Land of Oz.I’m not sure if its fear that keeps them in the land of the munchkins, but I do know it’s the desire to stay safe. Out beyond the slopes of safety are scarecrows, tin men, and lions; things that are unknown and unseen. They remain safe in their homes afraid of situations not common to their perception. When faced with the unknown, most sit and discuss the exploits of greatness instead of walking down the road.
So if you sit in life, in church, the PTA, or even at home, and never make the effort for involvement to change the course of life: you are a spectator, a munchkin.
If you gripe, grumble, and gossip about the issues instead of being involved: are a spectator, a munchkin.
If you stay safe, instead of living: you are a munchkin.
- Next comes Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Lion. These are the people involved with the story, and the outcome of their lives, but they too still are looking for answers from an outside source.They want to see the Wizard of Oz. Another way to describe these people in the theater of life, are those people who make the show happen. The ones who become engaged with lights and sounds, curtains and props, to make the event and night a glorious event. They are involved, around the stage, but never on it.Where would the story of the Wizard of Oz be without these four? Nowhere, but they do set off, on foot to conquer whatever evils there are to achieve the deed of ‘returning Dorothy home, so they are ‘Off To See The Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’.
They do not sit back, and wait for the wizard to come to them, but go in search of the Wizard. Sadly too though, they are looking for someone to answer their questions, solve their problems, and make the happenings of their life, happen.
If the first position in the story is munchkin, this is the level of adolescence, which is in fact the approximate age of Dorothy.
If you are engaged and taking part but display no initiative: you are an adolescent.
If you expect others to make all of life take place for you: you are an adolescent.
If you blame others for whatever is wrong: you are an adolescent.
- Then there is the Wizard. The Wizard, I grew up not liking the name. It had for me too much of a witchcraft sound to it, but I too know it’s a fiction story. The older I get the more I like it. It embodies the mystery of the Office of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.It calls to your mind the sense of wonderment and the unknown. How does the wizard do those things? Where is he? Who is he? How did he get there? Will we ever know?The Wizard though is another level of leadership that few ever know, or experience.
I believe its stage fright that holds them from stepping out on the stage. On the stage, the Wizard holds everyone’s attention but also has the responsibility of the presentation on his shoulders. That’s an awesome weight to step out, and know that you are ‘the man’, or ‘the woman’ in that moment.
Few want to be the Wizard. Too much stress and exposure, with criticism at every turn for their every action they take.
If you are bold and act in life: to those around you would consider you are a Wizard.
If you take the heat and stay in the fight: you are a Wizard.
If you make life better for others, at the expense of your own happiness: you are a Wizard.
When I was a child I wanted to be the Tin Man. He wore a funnel as a hat. I’m thankful for a Mother who bought me a funnel so I could live in the land of imagination.
As an adult I choose to be the Wizard, although now more reluctantly.
I’ve learned that being at that level is more pressure, which is why the Wizard in the movie hid behind the curtain. The facade is a built in protection, but you can’t change lives or influence from behind the curtain. He left the safety of the curtain, removed the façade, and held the stage as he needed to, so he could help redeem the life of those around him.
So if you aren’t willing to walk out on the stage and take the criticism that it brings, be a good munchkin, or a good Scarecrow, Tin Man, or Lion.
The Wizards of life need encouragement as they work and live. There are enough witches to bring them criticism.