With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a sure bet that the classic 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz,” will be broadcast soon. Beyond the technicolor spectacle and apple-throwing trees, there is another “story beneath the story” going on in this memorable tale. Taking a look from a different angle, it’s a story about the power of belief.
You see, Dorothy and her friends all wanted something. As is often the case, they looked for someone else to give it to them, someone in authority who had “the power.” They teamed up because they figured their efficacy was greater together than it was separately, and they were right. They were a real team with a common vision and not just a collection of separate individuals. They were able to overcome life-threatening danger to finally come face to face with what they believed to be the all-powerful Wizard.
When they met the Wizard, they discovered several particularly important things. Perhaps the most important discovery was that each already had whatever it was he or she felt was lacking; it was their personal beliefs that needed changing.
The Lion wasn’t really a coward – he proved that on the journey to Oz – but he believed he was, so most of the time he acted like it. When the Wizard gave him a medal and reminded him of his bravery, he affirmed the truth of a new belief, and that was all it took. Same thing for the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. Dorothy could have gone home any time she wanted, she just didn’t know she needed to ask how. For her, the journey was a risky rite of passage into her own strength and her own heart. Each of them had “the power” all along.
So, you see, “The Wizard of Oz” can be seen as a wonderfully entertaining story about the power of belief and the importance of becoming our own authority. Who is your Wizard of Oz, and do you really need that person to tell you what you already know about yourself, in your heart?