Growing up I used to love The Wizard of Oz. Back then there were only network TV stations and once a year around Christmas time, The Wizard of Oz would air. It was an annual event at my house. I dearly loved all the characters, but especially the Tin Man. If you asked me why back then, I probably would have answered that I liked his axe. He was tall, strong, and eager to protect Dorothy even if that meant going up against the Wicked Witch of the West.
Together, Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man set out to find Oz so each of them can get their individual wishes fulfilled. All the Tin Man really wanted was to have a heart. I can relate. All these years later, I still love the tin man and I still admire his strength, his axe, and his caring for Dorothy. But now as a man, I can also understand his desire to have a heart, to love and to be loved.
After their hero’s journey is complete, the characters meet with the Great Wizard to collect their promised rewards. When it’s the Tin Man’s turn, the Wizard says to him, “Back where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds.” After a stutter he continues, “their hearts are no bigger than yours. But they have one thing you haven’t got, a testimonial.” The Wizard then presents Tin Man with a “small token of our esteem and affection,” a heart shaped clock on a chain. “Remember my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but how much you are loved by others,” he says.*
I might take some objection with the Wizard’s last comment, especially when we consider the five elements of love pointed out in yesterday’s post. We discussed how Erich Fromm taught that five common elements of love include giving, responsibility, care, respect, and knowledge. Was Tin Man not the epitome of these values? He clearly loved and was loved for his good deeds. Doesn’t love as part of our oneness with each other include both giving and receiving? Tin Man had a heart all along, but he just needed validation, encouragement and a testimonial. I suppose you could say he wanted to feel the love.
As the song Tin Man by America goes,
Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man,
That he didn’t, didn’t already have.**
* For a little fun and inspiration, here’s a link to the scene above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky7DMCHQJZY
** And for some inspiration and a awesome song, here’s a link to Tin Man by America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4OgfBDvIro