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I was reading an interesting paper the other day, and the authors argued that the key virtues for a good life can each be found in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” The 3 virtues are each connected to one of the 3 “helpers” that Dorothy meets along her journey.

The Scarecrow

First, there is the scarecrow. The scarecrow is searching for a brain. One key virtue is inquisitiveness or curiosity. At its best, questioning happens without crisis or fear. We engage the world and its big questions with humble curiosity, working to expand what is known and understood.

The Tin Man

Second, there is the tin man. The tin man is searching for a heart. A second key virtue is caring or love. At its best, caring happens without reward. We love others because it’s an expression of our heart and common humanity. If we identify as Christian, we love others because God first loved us.

The Lion

Third, there is the lion. The lion is searching for his strength. A third key virtue is courage or self-control. At its best, discipline happens without an imposed external structure. We have internalized the strength and fortitude we need to overcome our obstacles and make progress toward our most important goals.

Discussion

Inquisitiveness, caring, and self-control. Head, heart, and courage. Scarecrow, tin man, and lion. Which of these virtues is a strength for you? Which of these virtues is a growth edge for you? Pick one virtue that you want to work on in the next month.