Sometimes things we don’t know much about seem scary, freaky and just not something you want to go near. And yes, I mean lions and tigers and bears are scary, and most likely bite your head off in reality, but in my metaphoric world I am talking about the people you see on the streets or in the “jungle” that seem different and maybe even scary, but that’s often because things or people we are unfamiliar with and uneducated about can appear that way.
In my most favourite film ever, the Wizard of Oz, the lead character Dorothy Gale truly learnt about life and happiness by generously taking others along on her journey. She could’ve said no but she said she would help them also, by going to the Wizard for a heart for Tinman, a brain for Scarecrow and courage for Lion. Dorothy found out her perceptions and assumptions of these odd characters were wrong once she understood they are just different to her.
I have discussed this movie with many friends over a drink or two, and the many lessons this story has for us all, whether L.Frank Baum meant it or not in his famous novel. I also had a very spiritual friend leave a copy of the Zen of Oz on my doorstep one day which concreted my theories even more.
Just after the house falls from the sky, Dorothy walks out and is greeted by the angelic looking Glinda the Good witch of the North and it goes like this.
Glinda: Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
Dorothy: Who, me? Why, I'm not a witch at all. I'm Dorothy Gale from Kansas… witches are old and ugly.
Glinda: The Munchkins. They're laughing because I am a witch. I'm Glinda, the Witch of the North
Only bad witches are ugly.
So if Glinda states that only bad witches are ugly then why did she ask Dorothy if she was a good witch or a bad witch? I think it’s something to do with being a good person or a bad person and the reference to ugly is not about appearance but more about what’s on the inside. This is the start of Dorothy’s journey of self-discovery through the experience of meeting and helping others, overcoming challenges, believing in yourself and being grateful for what we have.
“If we walk far enough," says Dorothy, "we shall sometime come to someplace.”
― L. Frank Baum
To summarise here is what I have learnt:
- Red, glittery shoes are to die for and anyone should be able to wear them. Having said that the power is within you without pretty things;
- Don’t doubt your inner abilities. Think you don’t have a brain, heart, courage?… you do, sometimes you just have to dig a little to find it;
- As Scarecrow says “But some people with brains doing an awful lot of talking”. Don’t underestimate the power of listening – and listening is not waiting to talk.
- Friends are everywhere and sometimes in the strangest places. Open your eyes and ears, you might just meet the most awesome people ever, I know I have!
Believe in yourself, everyone is afraid of something. ‘Have a little courage’, go seek that rainbow, even if it turns out the grass isn’t actually greener and you have it all right here and now.
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
- L. Frank Baum
- Never be worried to be different and Follow the yellow Brick Road! If you don’t know how to, watch some toddler’s playing!
My little girl, Ava, who loves dressing up and role playing characters, and learning things as she goes.
Belle’s ‘yellow brick road’ blog series will share the journey of others, from those who have taken the road of self-love through to inspiring people who show us the power of empathy, kindness and helping others.
Belle refers to her body as ‘cuddly’ and her man loves it. Belle is a mad Oz fan, mumma bear of 3, and loves to shoot people in beautiful settings.