I love great writing. It is something I enjoy and respect. So many times writing whether it’s novels, short stories, articles, or non-fiction, has many lessons included in the story. Yet many times we don’t really think about the lesson part, we just enjoy the story and go about our business and never really take time to glean the information given.
For instance one of the greatest stories takes place with a girl named Dorothy who gets transported to the wonderful land of OZ. Back home in Kansas Dorothy has problems with a neighbor that is hateful, mean, and wants to take her dog. She tries to talk to her Auntie Em and Uncle about her, but they are too busy going about their lives to stop and listen. Dorothy tells Toto that there has to be a place, way up in the skies where everyone is nice and the world is a better place. Then the storm comes and Dorothy and Toto find themselves whisked off to experience the land of OZ. However, the same problems that plagued her in Kansas, follow her to OZ, except that it’s not a nosey neighbor trying to get to her and kidnap Toto, but the wicked witch.
So many times in life when things seem out of control, overwhelming, and just depressing, we think that a change of scenery will change everything. We want to take some wonderful vacation away from it all and escape the reality of the problems we face every day. Unfortunately, like Dorothy and Toto we find that the vacation or change of scenery doesn’t really solve anything. Those same problems that plagued us before tend to follow us to the new location, what’s more is many times the situation adds additional worries along the way as well.
Sadly I have seen this play out in relationships, including my own, where it was thought that some down time away from the everyday schedule and togetherness would help solve some of the relationship issues. It didn’t. The added togetherness magnified issues that we had not worked through and what should have been an enjoyable vacation just became a trip away, struggling with the same issues and knowing that soon we would have to return home and deal with the rest of it all as well.
So what’s the real lesson from the land of OZ? I believe it’s a number of things, the first being that sometimes we need to step back and get a different perspective sometimes and realize that we are too close to the situation to see it clearly. At times we need a friend to talk too, or an unbiased third party to offer a new look at the situation and put things better in balance.
The second is that running away from problems does not solve them, they will still be waiting to be dealt with later one way or another. Even if you were to completely escape and never return, you still have to deal with the emotional aspect of decisions made, so better to take the time, face your fears and mistakes, make amends where you can, and get things back in sync. We do not live in a perfect world, but our world can be much less stressful and pleasant just by dealing with things as they come up and being proactive when possible.
The third lesson from the land of OZ is that in stopping to deal with issues, often we find that that the answers lie within ourselves. It’s well worth the journey to discover our own strengths, weaknesses and make some life long friends along the way.
Cherry Coley (c)