I never put a whole lot of thought into the meaning of this movie.I’d seen it countless times since childhood and consider it my all time favorite movie.
Every year at the ADDA conference(partnering with CHADD and ACO and now called the Annual International Conference on ADHD), I choose two songs to sing at the infamous Talent Show. I got to thinking about what songs I’d perform this year.
For some reason, the song “If I Only Had a Brain” popped into my…..brain.At first I thought- no- this isn’t an appropriate song to sing to an audience of adults with ADHD. We (I have ADHD, too) struggle every day trying to make our brains work for us, not against us. So I began thinking: is this song critical and hurtful to those who struggle with memory, disorganization and other cognitive/executive functions?
I’d forgotten so many details about that movie, so I began to analyze the various characters: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion, even Dorothy- were all searching for something they thought they didn’t have: a brain, a heart, courage, and….home. The Wizard of Oz promised to give these things to them if they’d agree to kill the wicked witch. But in the end, the Wizard was a fake, a fraud. And the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and Dorothy realized something important- that they had all of these things within them all along- they just didn’t know it.
I’ve decided to perform the song next weekat the conference. But this time, I’ll remind the audience what I’d remembered myself: that we don’t need to constantly focus on what think we don’t do well. Maybe these abilities, strengths, talents are there but need support and understanding; we need to recognize these as just parts of us that have been hidden far too long- inner resources that need nurturing and acceptance so that they can find their way. Just like Dorothy and her friends.
Note: Join me at the conference in St. LouisNovember 7-11. I’ll be presenting on “The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD: What Your Mother, Grandmother and Teachers Never Told You.”
Register today at www.CHADD.org. And feel free to sing along with me at the Talent Show. Cuz there’s a good chance I’ll forget some words. And that’s ok!
P.S. Which character in the Wizard of Oz do you most identify with? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.