Excerpt Chapter Nine

Unedited Excerpt from Chapter Nine:

The Wizard of Oz Relationship Approach


The Treatment of Others Who Are Different from Ourselves

Dorothy Meets the Scarecrow


When Dorothy first encounters the Scarecrow, she remarks that the scarecrows back in Kansas don’t talk or sing or dance. She is leery of what she does not understand. At this moment, Dorothy has a choice to make. She can turn and walk away from someone who is different from what she knows and has grown to expect as “normal” or she can extend a hand (which she does quite literally, if you remember) and accept this scarecrow as he is. She invites him to take a journey with her even though he does not share her goal.


Discussion Questions:


1.     How do we accept those who are different from ourselves or different from what we have learned to accept as “normal?”


2.     Do we offer to be a friend even when we don’t appear to have anything in common?


3.     Do we judge this person and walk away without ever really getting to know them?


4.     Describe an occasion when you did walk away without getting to know someone because you saw them as different? How did it make you feel? Why do you think you didn’t take a chance?


5.     Describe an occasion when you took the chance to get to know someone who was different? How did it make you feel? Why did you take a chance?




Dorothy and the Scarecrow Meet the Tin Man


When the Scarecrow and Dorothy meet the Tin Man, he is in distress. He has rusted and is now paralyzed. With the oil can just beyond his reach, he has stood there helpless, waiting on the kindness of others. At this moment, Dorothy and the Scarecrow have a choice to make. Although Dorothy and the Scarecrow have a destination and a plan, they stop to help this stranger. They have nothing in common with this man made of tin and he is certainly different from anything they have ever seen. They could have just passed by but they stop to help. At first, they are unsure of what to do (of course, it doesn’t help that one of them doesn’t have a brain)  but they know they cannot just walk away.


Because it has been such a long time since anyone has asked the Tin Man if he needed help, he is now almost completely unable to ask for it. Although he knows what he needs, it is hard for him to say the words and when he tries to ask for what he needs, he can barely get the words out. Dorothy and the Scarecrow do not give up on him and finally, they hear him say, “oil can,” “oil can,” and although Dorothy can hardly understand him at first, she and the Scarecrow spring into action to help this man made of tin. In addition to helping the Tin Man regain his movement, Dorothy and the Scarecrow learn that even more than an oil can, the Tin Man wants a heart and so they welcome him to join them. The next time we skip down the yellow brick road, we need to watch out for those who may be different from us but who are in need, and who are whispering “oil can” as loudly as they can.

Discussion Questions:


1.     Would you walk by someone in need or would you be listening for the quietest call for help and would you invite that person to join you and your friend, even if that person was different?


2.     Have you ever walked right by someone who was asking for help in the only way they knew how?


3.     Do you do the least that you can do to help someone and walk away or do you go that extra step to help that person with their greater need?


4.     Why do we have trouble asking for help? Is it harder to ask for help if you are not used to doing it? What does it feel like to know what you need and have no one ask if they can help you?


5.     Would you have walked by the Tin Man? Do you walk by people with special needs as though they are invisible?


6.     Describe an occasion when you were afraid to ask for help.

Describe an occasion when you asked for help and didn’t receive

it. How did that make you feel?


7.     Describe an occasion when you offered to help someone. How did that make you feel? Describe an occasion when you were unable to help. How did that make you feel?



Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man


Meet the Cowardly Lion


When Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man meet the Cowardly Lion, there is no soft cry for help. There is quite literally a roar! The Lion jumps out at our characters and frightens them but when the Cowardly Lion gets too close to Toto, Dorothy fights back. Much to everyone’s surprise, the Lion begins to cry. At this moment, our characters have a choice to make. They can say, “Shame on you,” and walk away or they can see through this roaring cry for help. Our characters see that the Lion is overcompensating because he feels inferior. As the king of the jungle, others expect the Cowardly Lion to behave a certain way and he doesn’t feel as though he can.  He feels there is something missing inside him. So, our characters forgive the Lion for the way he acted and they welcome him to join their journey.


Discussion Questions:


1.     Have you ever pretended to be what others expected you to be while feeling that there was something missing inside of you?


2.     Have you ever felt so insecure about something that you have pushed others away?


3.     Have you ever forgiven someone who made a bad first impression and did you give them a second chance? Did you ever make a bad first impression?


4.     Have you been bullied? Have you bullied others? Have you stood by and done nothing to help someone who was being bullied?




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