Problems Confronting our Youth Teenage Pregnancy and Promiscuity Violence/Gangs Incarceration Lack of motivation/respect Using/Selling Drugs Poor School Performance/Dropping Out Little connection to history and culture
The Wizard of Oz? Not just another childrens movie Provides symbols, actions, and truths we can use to understand the problems our youth face in society Lets summarize the characters and plot to see how they relate to our youth
SUMMARY Dorothy finds herself in a new and strange place far away from her home She meets up with three main characters who like her, have a problem They are told to follow the yellow-brick road to Oz where they will find the all-powerful and wise Wonderful Wizard who will solve their problems The Wicked Witch of the West, threatened by their unity and quest for empowerment, sends several traps/obstacles their way to sabotage their progress They eventually meet the Wizard and the story concludes
CharacterProblemWhat problem Represents DorothyAway from home and cant get back Being lost, confused, and disconnected from God and culture The ScarecrowHas no brain Lack of intelligence and capability The LionHas no courage Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, failure to claim authority The Tin ManHas no heart Being insensitive, lacking compassion and humanity Understanding the Characters
In the clip youre about to see, notice how the Wicked Witch of the West, (get it, the WEST?) observes the actions of our characters from a great distance. How can she do this? She uses a crystal ball, todays wicked witches use cameras, satellites, and surveillance devices.
Thats right, the Wicked Witch of the West, looking to sabotage the empowerment of these characters, sends them through Poppy fields, causing most of them to fall asleep. And guess what is produced from Poppie plants? Opium and Heroin! So she introduces them to narcotic drugs in an effort to derail their forward progress, sound familiar?
Our misinformed and misled characters have discovered that the wizard is nothing but an ordinary man. He has no special powers at all; he has deceived people into obeying and fearing him through the skillful use of gadgets and propaganda. Sound familiar? In the next clip, notice how he gives them symbols of the things they seek, and admits that he has no power to give them what they already had the whole time!
Bringing it Together This society and its institutions work to turn our youth into The Lion (no courage or self-esteem), The Scarecrow (no intelligence or capability), and The Tin Man (Insensitive, impolite, dangerous). When you add all of these qualities together you have Dorothy (someone who is lost, confused, and disconnected from God and culture) Our youth are often steered into poppy fields to sabotage their progress (drugs, incarceration, gangs, dropping out of school, etc.) Our youth are taught to believe not in the authority of God, or themselves,but of men and women who set themselves up as gods
What We Must Do Provide our children with a strong spiritual foundation so they dont bow to false gods, or become afraid of wicked witches! Create opportunities for our children to develop a sense of achievement and accomplishment Imbue our children with knowledge of their ancestors, culture, and history (Theres no place like home) Teach our children to be leaders and problem-solvers; create opportunities for them to develop and utilize these skills Teach that education and self-improvement are non- negotiable and mandatory in your household Connect them to good witches, or mentors
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