“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” ― Shannon L. Alder
One of my favorite movies is The Wiz, an adaptation of the 1974 stage play written by Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown, that is a soulful rendition of the book The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. One of my most favorite scenes takes place in the corn field where the Scarecrow, played by Michael Jackson, resides. Though he is supposed to scare the crows away, the Scarecrow befriends the crows and allows them to eat his corn with the hopes that the crows will help him down off his pole so he can walk around his garden.
Though the Scarecrow is holding up his end of the bargain by permitting the crows to indulge, the crows have yet to take into consideration the wishes of the Scarecrow. Every time the Scarecrow asked for assistance the crows tell him all of the reasons that he can’t get down and enjoy the garden. They remind him that he is only a scarecrow and a bad one at that, how could he possibly succeed in walking around. They remind him that he is made of trash and that even if he did get down it would not be worth his time and effort.
Since Scarecrow views the crows as his friends he believes their thoughts towards him. He allows the crows way of thinking to become the rules that he lived by daily and even pledges allegiance to those rules by singing The Crow Anthem:
You can’t win
You can’t break even
and you can’t get out of the game.
After singing this song, Scarecrow decides to stay on his post feeling defeated and hopeless, asking would anyone help him down off of his pedestal. He is offered assistance by Dorothy, played by Diana Ross, and falls flat on his face. He is laughed at and mocked by the crows, which makes him believe that their thoughts of him being a failure were true.
Dorothy reassures the Scarecrow that he is not a failure, but just a product of negative thinking. She takes the initiative to shoo away the crows, helps the Scarecrow practice walking and encourages him to come with her to find the Wizard of Oz.
In past experiences I have ignored my desires and dreams because of negative things that people have said to me. I have changed the way that I dressed, acted and even whom I’ve dated because of the opinions of others. What others thought of me took precedence over how I viewed myself and my abilities, that I would be too fearful to truly be myself among my peers. As others were out living their lives to the fullest, I found myself trapped inside the boxes that I had allowed others to place me in.
Our minds are the gardens of our souls, if we are not mindful of who we allow to frolic in our fields, our minds can become a landfill of trash and rotten fruit. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but that doesn’t mean that their opinions are facts. We cannot let negative comments keep us from fulfilling our goals and dreams. When we believe the cynical remarks of others we limit ourselves and begin to embody their pessimistic view of life. It is ultimately our beliefs that will push us towards greatness or usher us into defeat.
Though there may be times
that you wish you wasn’t born
and you rose one morning
just to find your hope is gone
Just know that feeling only lasts a little while
You just stick with us and we’ll show you how to smile
C’mon and ease on down the road!
*Pictures found on http://www.google.com