FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
In the movie, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and Toto embarked on a wonderful and scary adventure. For them, the goal was to get home, and to actually accomplish that, they had no real decisions to make. They were directed to simply ‘ Follow the Yellow Brick Road ‘. Everything worked out well for them. They were eventually able to find their way home. And they were better because of the journey they had undertaken. It was only a dream, and not real, and yet they received a personal benefit from the experience anyway. The movie ends, and we smile. Life is good, for a while. Such is Hollywood. And they all lived happily ever after. And we got a little piece of that.
Life is not so simple. And yet in its complexity we find the simplest of parallels with our little Dorothy. Life itself is about as scary an adventure that you could ever want to undertake. But we don’t really have a choice. It is a movie that has already started. We are in it. We are the main characters. And the camera is running, all the time. So what are we going to do about it? I cannot speak for you, but for me, I am already in it and having an adventure. The difference is that this is real, at least I think it is, and when this all ends, it may just be the end of the party. It may be all she wrote. So it looks like we should get involved and enjoy the ride while we can. It’s a long time now, since I first found my yellow brick road. I have been through more than one pair of metaphysical shoes, with hopefully many more to come. The blisters picked up along the way are imprinted on my soul. I can’t say it has been an easy path, and it certainly has been challenging at times, not to say confusing and frustrating. I guess I can say that it has been enjoyable, at times, but I am not so sure that’s the right word. It has taken a long time, but I am starting to get the hang of it, and one thing I can say without hesitation is that it has been curiously interesting. Life is a bitch. There is so much that you can just not control. That’s the frustrating part. If people and events do not get in the way, then reality steps in to shake things up. And when she steps, everything shakes. She has the sense of humor of god, and while I won’t say it is warped or perverted, it certainly has its own personality and flavor, and never cares if you think it’s funny, and especially doesn’t care if you are ready or not. Here it comes. Hey Reality! Give it your best shot.
Following your Yellow Brick Road is the journey of your life. As a matter of fact, it is your life, and you are the cruise director. You make up the itinerary. You decide the daily destinations, and you are in total control. At least most of us are. Unfortunately, circumstances, and that bitch, Reality, put some people in situations where they are incapable or helpless to control their lives. My heart, and my soul, is saddened by that, and I can only wish them well and hope they can someday find direction or the help they need. I hope someone can bring understanding and hope to them. If the opportunity presents itself, I try and do what I can, but we are all on our own paths, with the challenges and obstacles that are unique to our reality. But in any case, for most of us, we are the masters of our own destiny. We need to understand that and to take control. As soon as we can and as much as we can. Life is serendipitous. It is ironic. It can be unfathomable at times. And yet control is available to all of us in some form or fashion. For me, my strength has always been philosophy. Long before I understood the word, I was a philosopher. Life is like a puzzle and philosophy is the key to putting all the pieces together into a semblance of something that looks good and makes sense. I have some of that, but we always want more. We look for perfection, knowing that it is a lofty, and probably unattainable, goal. And yet we keep searching, keep trying to understand, and keep on our paths, one step at a time. I have been sidetracked, many times, but have always found my way back. It has been a good trip. Not always, and yet strangely satisfying. It still is. And so it goes.
The lesson to be learned from Dorothy and her pilgrimage to return home, is that with all the adventure and drama, when she finally gets to the wizard, with the expectation that all her wants and desires will be fulfilled, she is greatly disappointed to find out that he is unable to grant her heart’s desire. He is not who she thought he was. In many ways he was a fraud. Not that he was an evil person. Just not who everyone thought he was. He was doing the best he could do in a difficult situation. For himself. He was struggling with his path, and his obstacles, trying to go forward, and hoping for the best. We should try to empathize with him, and all good people, that have difficulties with their own demons, as they try and understand their options and their capabilities, as well as their limitations. Sometimes, the most difficult thing in life is looking away from self, and our own problems, to see the challenges that others face, and see if we can be of some help, however small, to help them back on their way.
In any case, the wizard, in the end, turns out to give her the resolution to her dilemma. Close your eyes. Click your heels. And say to yourself, ‘ there is no place like home, there is no place like home ‘. His instructions were instrumental in her reaching her goal. The simple answer is invariably the correct one. His suggestion was to do it herself. She always had the ability to return home. From the moment she landed in OZ, she could have returned home. She needed no help from anyone. There was no need for a complicated adventure. And especially, she never needed any help or magic from anyone else. The magic always existed within herself. She need only believe. She need only act. And her heart’s desire was hers for the asking.
So it is with our path. So it is with Philosophy. It is the key to our discovering that we all have the ability within us to resolve all of the issues that we come up against in life. It is the tool that allows us to develop a sense of self, and a sense of good and evil, right and wrong. It will always help us to a valid and positive result. As philosophy evolves within us, and we travel our path of discovery, we find it progressively easier, to deal with whatever comes our way. We begin to comprehend that other people and shortcuts are not really necessary to make a life that we can enjoy and be proud of. That is something we all need, and rarely hear someone talk about. Are you proud of who you are, and the things you do? I just do not see that in the words people use. Or in their actions. Or their hopes. I don’t see it in their eyes. Proud individuals are happy people. I just don’t feel like we live in a proud and happy society. We don’t like people. We distrust them. We hate politics. It divides us. We are disappointed with work, and even our religions. They don’t sustain us. They bring us little, if any, fulfillment. We want more. We look out and point fingers at others. Anyone. Everyone. They are not good people. They need to get their act together. They are the problem. Most of us never stopping for a minute, and asking if we are part of the problem ourselves, or part of the solution. Forget about the others, at least for a moment. They will need your attention, at some point, if only to prevent them from impacting you in a negative way. Look inward. At self. Reflection. Contemplation. If you are not proud of yourself, you need to get there. If you do not love yourself, you have to find out why. If you do not even like yourself, you have probably lost control and need to get it back. Return to your path. Make some better decisions. Do not look for others to fix you. You are the only one who can do so. And you can, but you need the help of a solid friend and ally. You already have a philosophy, so use it. If you are not sure what it is, then analyze it. Develop it. Let it help you. Get back on your path, and resume your sojourn into discovery and growth. Take a step, and experience life from a new perspective.
And enjoy every second available to you.
Follow Your Yellow Brick Road