“Whadda they got that I ain’t got?….(all answer) “Courage!” The the Cowardly Lion’s own answer to his rhetorical question is, of course, Courage. In case you’ve never seen the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz” I would encourage you to stop reading, find, rent, borrow download a copy using whatever it is you use to view media, make some popcorn and lose yourself in what is probably one of the few examples of The Archetypal Heroes Journey whose protagonist is a 13-year-old girl. So go away now if you haven’t seen it because there’s a spoiler on deck.
Gone? Okay. Are they all gone? ok.
Geez can you believe there are actually people who have not seen the Wizard of Oz?!
Well, we will give them our support and acceptance when they come back, let’s not make them feel embarrassed for not having incorporated one of the greatest films of all time into their schematic framework.
So, the rest of you know where I am headed with this thought. The Cowardly Lion, despite his panic attacks, tears and attempts at desertion was indeed the most Courageous of all the Seekers en route to Oz. Yes, he was terrified the entire time but, as a loved one recently reminded me, Courage is not the lack of Fear, but the act of going forward and doing what needs to be done in spite of the Fear.
As the Wizard presented the Cowardly Lion with his Medal of Bravery he expressed the same sentiment
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
Upon realizing the risks he had endured and survived in the name of loyalty to Dorothy and the others, The Lion is able to grasp the key ingredient in the recipe for Courage…Confidence. Not the boasting puffy chested, “put ’em up” posturing he had (unsuccessfully) displayed when first encountering his fellow travelers ; but a warm and humble confidence that enabled him as a decorated hero, to weep in plain view of the entire populace of The Emerald City as he said goodbye to Dorothy.
True Courage is more likely to debate than display, to sacrifice freely with no expectation of reward, and more at ease with weeping than warfare.
Think of times you have faced your fears, soldiered on and emerged quietly triumphant yet forever changed. Please, as always feel free to share a story if you’d like, and Soldier On Warriors of Wisdom!