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“Taking the voyage toward self-discovery”
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“Taking the voyage toward self-discovery”

Looking at the story of Dorothy’s travels in the Land of Oz, Lyn-Marie Blackman, a Commonwealth Correspondent alumni from Barbados, reflects on the path youth take in discovering their own capabilities.

Living on planet Earth can present many challenges for its inhabitants, and with those challenges oftentimes comes a period of evolution. When one is going through this evolutionary stage, one prominent theme runs through it all: self-discovery.

Movies and books serve various purposes, which can be packaged as mere entertainment, research or as a form of education. One of the all-time movies and book that carries a strong message showered with self-discovery is “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. In the story we see young Dorothy searching for a way to get back home to Kansas after being transported by a cyclone, along with her dog Toto, to a strange new world of Munchkin Country in the Land of Oz.

Dorothy’s desire was to get back home, but she was embarking on a path of self-discovery that was going to be beautiful. She met Scarecrow who fancied having a brain, the Tin Woodman who expressed the need for a heart and the Cowardly Lion who needed courage. After meeting her new friends; Dorothy et al set off along the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where the Wizard was going to make their desires realities.

However, the viewer of the movie or the reader of the book would have noticed that as the four friends and Toto were journeying through the Land of Oz,  they already possessed the qualities they thought they needed. The obstacles that appeared showed that Dorothy had the ability to send herself back to Kansas, Scarecrow already had a brain, the Tin Woodman had a heart and the Lion was very courageous.

Sometimes young people can overlook the power that lies within them. Many watch and wait for that special event to happen, or for someone to highlight their talent and skills. Many of our youth are embarking on college, university, new business and job ventures where a sense of being lost may be evident. However, I implore the youth, like Dorothy, to look at the gifts and tools you have been given. Use them to find home; your place of growth and transformation. Dorothy had on the silver shoes which, if she knew at the time what those shoes were symbolic of, would have found home already. But the self-discovery journey aided her in becoming better for the future.

The self-discovery phase is crucial to one’s development. Questions such as: ‘Who am I?’ , ‘Where am I going?’ and ‘What gift have I been given that can transform the world in which I live?’ should be asked – and by the end of the self-discovery phase should be answered.

Dorothy and her friends made that self-discovery journey and in the end they received their just rewards. The obstacle of a cyclone that occurred on Dorothy’s farm caused her to be far away and out of her comfort zone of Kansas, but she was able to influence her three new friends to abandon their mundane way of living and to join her on the path of self-discovery.

We all have instruments around us, whether they reside in our hearts, mind or respective environments. If only we would engage them and explore their relevance to our life’s journey, fewer misguided steps will ensue.

photo credit: Len Radin At the Wizard of Oz Dress Rehearsal via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a conservative and articulate individual with an innate desire to see love, peace and unity triumph. My interests lie in medical research. I enjoy researching medical news from around the world and reporting it in my monthly newsletter entitled L.I.F.E.

I love biomedical science and believe it holds the key to a healthier society. I aspire to become a medical researcher and writer. My focus now is obtaining more exposure for my newsletters: L.I.F.E. and The Believer.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/
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