Watching my eldest granddaughter singing and dancing her way through the Wizard of Oz fills me with a special pride that any grandparent knows. Actually, all four of Nate and Deb's girls took part in the production, both on and off stage, as Deb directed and Nate worked for the past six weeks building some pretty amazing sets.
The entire cast did a great job, and a full house got to reap the rewards of their labor. I have always wished I had tried out for school plays way back when, but when you're in a school of well over a thousand, ordinary guys like me don't get chosen; at least, that is what I thought. Now, trying to memorize lines and get the choreography right...let's just say I wouldn't do any theatrical production any favors moving from the audience to the stage.
There are a lot of lessons to take home from the Wizard of Oz. "There's no place like home" is probably the best known, but my favorites are when the Wizard tells the scarecrow that there are lots of people without any brains who make it in life because they have what he didn't have...a diploma. And to the cowardly lion that lots of folk have no more courage than he, but they did have what he didn't have...a medal. And to the tin man that lots of people don't have any heart, but they have what he didn't have...a testimonial. It really is true. Some of the people we admire and follow have no more brains than the scarecrow or courage than the lion, or heart than the tin man, but they have something the rest of us don't have; a piece of paper declaring that they are smarter than they really are, or a medal that testifies to their bravery, or the testimony of any number of people that they are better than the rest of us. In this political season, our country would benefit greatly by watching the Wizard of Oz and taking its message to heart. I am grateful tonight to have watched it live and to be able to ponder its significance today. Maybe others will join me. It might just help.