"You're not in Kansas anymore....."
I have heard that phrase a thousand times. It is a play on a great line from the wonderful story, "The Wizard of Oz." You've probably seen the movie...it is on TV every November at the start of the holiday season.
I thought about the movie when I recently had the pleasure of seeing the play, "Wicked." It was a wonderful story about how the witches in the Emerald City got their titles of Good and Wicked. It paralleled the tale we know so well by showing the lives of those that lived in within the green gates. From the winged primates, the merry citizens we see on that road of gold, the non-human characters in search of miracles from a magical man, and of course the witches, the story is told from a perspective completely different. A perspective that is perpendicular to the tale that most of us grew up knowing. It is a humorous, touching and even a bit scandalous story.
As I watched it, I was struck by how I viewed the characters in a different light than I did when I only knew the original story. Those winged primates really scared me until I found out why they had wings. The magical man seemed like the answer to all problems and strife before I knew his past. The witches...well, we all know the good witch is good and the wicked one is not...or do we?
I looked at the characters through one set of ideals. They were the ideals that were put in front of me and I gladly accepted. Because of the delivery and slant of the story, my opinions and attitudes were shaped to fit the agenda of the author of the story. Once I saw a different viewpoint, my opinions and attitudes were not the same.
For all of you who may be thinking that I am taking this a bit too seriously, let me assure you that I do know these are fictional characters! What I do take seriously though, is how this scenario plays out in the real world.
I know I am guilty of seeing much of the world from one perspective. It has been shaped by the things "my" culture presents. I often fail to see a perspective different from my own. I often am charmed into adopting attitudes because of the charisma and skill of the teller of the story. I often neglect to consider that there is another side of the story. My world will not tell me there are other views unless I take the initiative to seek them out myself. It is up to me to be educated and informed and not blindly accept what the world around me presents.
Knowing another view does not mean that view has to be accepted as right. The additional knowledge may even cement the original views as truth. However, maybe some wickedness lies in denying the fact that there is another view to be considered.