The Wizard of Oz is more than just a movie. It is a metaphor for life. The story highlights the cultural tethers that limit self-worth and emphasizes the importance of community. It also provides a road map for navigating uncertain times. Here are a few of my favorite lines and the insights they provide:
“We aren’t in Kansas anymore!” When Dorothy lands in Oz, she quickly realizes that she is in a world that is dramatically different from the one she has known. She uses adaptability, creativity, empathy, and collaboration to help guide her through the upheaval she experiences. These were human qualities she already possessed.
“If I only had a brain!” The Scarecrow doesn’t believe he is smart because he doesn’t have a piece of paper that tells him he is smart. Yet he masterminds the journey to Oz and rescues Dorothy, proving he already had a brain.
“If I only had the courage!” The Cowardly Lion is afraid even though his species is supposed to be fearless. He learns that he can overcome his fear when he cares more about Dororthy than himself. Finding meaning and purpose helped him gain courage.
“If I only had a heart!” The Tin Man is sad because he is hollow and doesn’t have a heart. But his compassion and care for his companions along the journey showed that he could love and be loved. It didn’t matter that he was made differently.
“The Wizard will know what to do!” Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow believe that there is some powerful being that will be able to solve their problems. But, as they are unmoored from familiar environments, they learn to be responsible for themselves and band together to help and support each other. When the curtain is pulled back, they realize that the Wizard was not the all-powerful savior they expected. They had saved themselves.
“There is no place like home.” Dorothy learns she had the power inside her all along and so had all the others.
To help our children reach their potential, we need to honor their sacred journey. To do this, we need to give them responsibility for their own lives, encourage them to discover their purpose and prioritize their relationships with others. This will give them the confidence to follow their own yellow brick road.