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So last night I watched “The Wiz, Live!” on NBC, starring Queen Latifah, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Common, Mary J Blige, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Elijah Kelley, and newcomer, Shanice Williams, with Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em. Very cool. I was not able to see the original play on Broadway back in 1975 (because I wasn’t born yet…hee hee. Ok, I was 8) but seeing the performance still brought back some great memories from my childhood.
Who would you be?
When i was a kid, I always wanted to be the Tin Man, that is, until I learned that Buddy Ebsen almost died from the make-up they tried to use on him in the 1939 movie adaptation. In 1978, when “The Wiz” movie was released, I wanted to be the Scarecrow, because he was Michael Jackson, and he had that cool song, …“you can’t win, child, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the gaaaaaame!”. If I had to choose for the 2015 version, I’d go with the Cowardly Lion. Who knew David Alan Grier had pipes?
What’s funny is, without knowing it, I was actually asking myself which strong personality trait could I live without? Which is better, to function without intellect, without feelings, or without courage?
All Together Now
(Spoiler alert) In the end, and also throughout the story we find that each of the characters possess the exact trait that they wish they had. Even the wizard, um, herself, proved to be wiser than the nothing that she turned out to be. Also, when they worked together, they proved to be a powerful force against the perils of Oz (well, until they were captured by the Witch of the West, but you get my point).
So courage, heart, intellect, and the desire for home, familiarity, foundation, seem to be at the heart of success, at least according to this story, in all of its iterations. I submit that each of the characters allowed their circumstances to teach them that they were missing what they needed. They would have never known that they were being lied to by their situations if they never met each other. Hmm.
Of course there is another train of thought that says that Dorothy gets bumped on the head by a piece of wood flying in the storm, passes out, and, in her dream, meets all of the disenfranchised pieces of her own personality. That’s not mine. I got it from a Super Soul Sunday episode. Makes a lot of sense, especially in the context of that episode, but I’m not too sure where the wizard fits into that interpretation. Taking it at face value, though, there was a process of reconciliation that needed to happen with all sides of her personality before she could finally accomplish her goal.
So…Customer Service, right?
Is there a situation that is lying to you? Is there a circumstance that is making you believe that you can’t achieve? Do you walk into your office every day, dreading a phone call from a particular customer? Perhaps, someone in your office was able to make short work of a problem that had plagued you for weeks. Maybe someone has misunderstood your intentions and has labeled you inappropriately. These things happen in more places than we’re willing to admit. So what do you do?
Click your heels 3 times and…
No, no. Only in plays and movies folks. If that worked in reality, we’d have all kinds of designer taps on the insides of our shoes. However, clicking our heels is a simple movement that we can control, and control is the operative word.
When in the midst of turmoil, all you can do is control what you can control. As we all know, the only thing you can really control is your own actions and attitudes. How do you respond to adversity? Maybe the answer depends on the adversity. Sometimes there is good reason to come to your own defense, and sometimes, silence is golden.
And with that
The power to control your reaction to a situation is in you. After all is said and done, that’s the It to which the title refers. Remember, you are the music maker. Control is at the core of that music. Notice, I did not say that you control the situation itself, but your reaction to the situation. No one can dictate your responses to difficult times besides you. Make a decision to be forceful when needed, and silent when necessary. How do you decide? Simple, think about the aftermath. In your mind, fast-forward to 5 minutes after your reaction. Run the scenarios, then decide on the path that will give you the best outcome. Naturally, there is no guaranteed result so this method is somewhat of a gamble, but then again, so is life. Just be able to hold your head up high, knowing that your actions reflect the best for you and your company/organization. Thanks for reading!