I just finished reading an article on the life lessons taught in The Wizard of Oz (my all-time favorite movie). I can't even guess how many times I've seen it. I can resite huge portions of the movie verbatim. It's my comfort movie, an inspiration, a dream.
After reading this article, I think that my countless viewings of the Wizard of Oz made a large impact on my life. Outside of the brilliant colors, the whimsical characters and great adventure, this movie is about self-discovery. It's about realizing your inner strengths and harnessing your own capabilities.
Throughout the movie Dorothy continuously faces obstacles and challenges, just like we do everyday in life. She wavers and falters, but she persists and always finds the strength within herself to overcome. She's aided by her new friends, a support system that we all find useful and necessary in our own lives.
As Dorothy learns at the end of the movie, she's had the power to go back home the whole time. She had to learn a few things for herself before she was ready to use that power. She learned "it wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em, and [it's] that if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard because, if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."
The movie is over-flowing with symbolism and life-lessons.
When the Tin Man gets his heart, the Wizard tells him "And remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." The Scarecrow and Lion find their brain and courage, respectively, through a little reassurance. Once the Wizard gives the Scarecrow his diploma, he's suddenly smart, and the Lion stands stronger after receiving his badge of courage. We all need reassurance from time to time, to realize the strength we have within.