Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Emerald City Isn't Even Green

I came across this quote this morning:

“My people have been wearing green glasses on their eyes for so long that most of them think this really is an Emerald City.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

One of my complaints about the Oz film was the turning of a city seen through green lenses to an actual emerald city. On the one hand, it seems a minor change. Why not have a true emerald city in a beautiful fairy land? But this quote gets to the heart of the issue. The people of Oz were being fooled. It seems they knew the truth in the beginning, but they looked through those green glasses for so long, it started to seem real.

There are so many spiritual and political applications here that my head is spinning. I will give one example of each.

Political: Look at our country. The founders came here in a quest for freedom, religious and otherwise. A slew of men, great and not-so-great, argued and discussed and decided on a constitution to keep their dream alive through future generations. Slowly, over time, our government has made changes here and there. The way America runs is not at all how she was started. Consumerism has gone beyond birthing independence and landed us in a mire of greedy debt. Our senators can make laws that they are exempt from. Each party is trying to say what people want to hear and gain votes to get elected or re-elected. They are power-hungry, slapping green glasses on the people and telling us our city is built of emeralds. We know it isn't. We know it is failing in so many ways. But every time we vote for another politician, another man behind the curtain, we choose to go on wearing our pretty green glasses. No one is willing to snap back the curtain and expose our system of government for the decaying body it is.

Spiritual: I am ace at this one. Most of my life has been spent wearing glasses that make my choices look unselfish and just. I can justify just about anything. I've been doing it so long, I mostly don't even notice anymore. I live in a world of materialism and self-righteousness and pride, but my green glasses tell me the city is made of emeralds and my thoughts and actions are perfectly acceptable. I don't want to remove my glasses. I don't want to see my life without the green tint that makes it something beautiful and special.

In what area of life are you wearing green glasses rather than facing your own reality?

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