The wonderful land of Oz has had a hold on Americans ever since the first book was written right here in Chicago in 1900. As it turns out, most of us have a special affection for either the Scarecrow or the Lion, and yet isn’t it the heart of the Tinman which usually turns out to be our most essential feature…?
Brains and courage are of course important, but without a heart to feel our way through life, life would be a very mechanical affair indeed. In the long run, isn’t it our passion for the journey that turns it from sepia into technicolor? If left to wither and dry, our Tinman’s heart is likely to remain stuck there in place. Stuck along a road it sees but fails to travel.
This thought has always enamored me of the frustrated Tinman. He sense he may have the start of a heart, but somehow it doesn’t seem to work. Perhaps the Great Wizard can change that. First, though, he needs Dorothy to oil him for the journey; to help him break out of his trance.
There are times when we too get stuck along the road of life, without much fire in the belly or purpose in the heart. That’s when our Emerald City begins to fade in the distance. Begins to lose its power to motivate our brains or our courage. Begins to be just another ho-hum stop along the yellow brick way.
Whether in Oz or back in Kansas, I fear to report that this my fellow travelers is how the vast boring majority of us are. Ho-hum sojourners who put one step in front of the other without much joy. Without much zeal. Instead, with the plodding purpose of another client on this Cook’s Tour of life.
Can it be this is how the great and wonderful Wizard intended it to be…? I prefer not to think so. Call it stoicism, resignation, or getting-real, such an attitude can hardly justify getting up in the morning. Turns out that — just like in the story — we each have a pair of ruby slippers which we can use as we see fit.
Speaking for myself, I keep trying to click them just right. I imagine you’re doing the same.
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