Don't you just love the movie The Wizard of OZ? I was so excited to know that it was being shown again. I was taught many life lessons huddled behind my pillow as I watched Dorothy trying to find her way home. I learned that the right shoes really make a difference, that strangers become friends through adversity, and that the answers to our struggles are always closer than we think.
I also learned the value of having someone watch over me; a good witch or fairy godmother, if you will. Someone who would appear whenever I needed her, wave her magic wand and make all of my troubles disappear. She would have all the answers, believe in me, and want only the best for me. But good witches and fairy godmothers don't exist in the real world do they? Perhaps they do.
Have you ever reached down and given a hand to someone who is struggling? Have you ever shared life experience with someone younger, or taken an interest in someone who shares your dreams but is just embarking upon their journey? Have you ever done a good deed just because it was the right thing to do? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you my friend are a fairy godmother, a good witch, a mentor.
In this world we may call you by a different name, but the impact of your selfless deeds are still the same. You have given of yourself to improve the life of another. By your actions you have made the world a better place just by sharing what you had no matter how small or insignificant this act might have seemed at the time. No matter who we are or where we have come from, we all have something to offer. It may be as simple as an encouraging word or a smile or as complex as the answer to an overwhelming problem.
In the movie Glenda, the good witch, appeared as Dorothy stood crying and struggling to reach the balloon basket that had just left without her. Dorothy believed that she had missed her only opportunity to go home. She was crying because she had struggled for so long, worked so hard, and now all of her hard work seemed to be floating away in a balloon. However, Glenda was not upset. You see, Glenda knew that Dorothy did not need to kill the witch or take the broom in order to go home. She knew that Dorothy did not need to make that long difficult journey to Oz dragging three strange companions and a dog along with her. She also knew that Dorothy had always had the power to go home. So why didn't she just tell her that and save us all a lot of trouble? It was not enough for Glenda to know it; Dorothy had to know it, too.
That is what being a mentor is all about…encouraging others to reach for their dreams…knowing when to step in or when to allow us to struggle through the problem… understanding that some things must be learned by experience and cannot be told…believing in us, wiping away our tears, and loving us even when we are unlovable…helping us see the potential that lies inside of all of us and caring enough to take to time to do it.
When Dorothy finally clicked her heels and went home, she was not the same person who dropped a house on a witch. She appreciated what she had all along and also understood the power of believing in herself. She realized that no matter how many storms she endured, enemies she defeated, or challenges she might face, it was the people she loved that were most important. She also realized the value of a friend and mentor. She was forever changed by the lessons that Glenda taught her during her journey.
I must confess that I too have been very blessed with a good witch, a mentor. Her name is Marcia Oden, and she has done more for me than I could possibly put down on paper. She has given me the courage to make my journey over the rainbow and pursue my dreams. I am grateful for her encouragement.
Dorothy and I would like to thank all of you good witches out there. Without you our dreams would still be waiting. We would still be standing on the farm gazing at the sky wondering what was over the rainbow. Your love and encouragement makes our journey possible.
May we not only be inspired to follow our dreams, but may we strive to mentors as well. Then the next time that we drop a house on someone and a woman comes to us and says, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” We can proudly answer, “I’m a good witch, I’m a mentor!