Lessons from the Wizard of Oz

What is your favorite movie? Mine is the Wizard of Oz. It is based on a book written in 1899 by L Frank Baum. The movie premiered in 1939 at the Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. I would drive by the theater each morning on my way to work at Family Theater Productions, two blocks away. The last member of the cast to die was Jerry Maren at 4 feet 3.,one of the lollipop kids in munchkin land. He died at 98 in May, 2018.

Dorothy Gale, aka Judy Garland, lived in Kansas with her family. She sings her signature song to her dog, Toto, "Over the rainbow" hoping to find a world where dreams come true. Soon, a tornado lifts her and Toto, in a house into another world of color.

In her journey to get home, she encounters many characters and challenges. Each one had a different role to play: the witches, the munchkins, the three traveling companions, the lion, scarecrow and the Tin Man along with Toto.

Dorothy had the courage to face her fears. She never stopped dreaming. She never stopped trying to get home.

Several life lessons from the movie;

1. A true friend will help you deal with problems both big and small like rescuing you from flying monkeys.

2. Discover your path in life with a song and skip.

3. Don't try to be someone you are not. When in doubt look within for answers.

4. Take time to look over the rainbow and visualize future possibilities.

5. When someone tries to make you do something you know in your heart isn't right, stay true to yourself.

Like Dorothy's journey, hopefully yours leads to a better self-awareness and growth. It consists in discovering enchantment in everything and everyone we encounter in our lives. St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, called it "finding God in all things."

The Rev. Bob Wiseman is past of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church in Bennington and St. John the Baptist Church in North Bennington


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