Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion needed a little power – power to get home, power to get a brain, power to get a heart and power to get courage. They walked a yellow brick road in hope and expectation that the Wizard of Oz could grant their wish. Instead of finding the powerful Wizard they found a rather small man holding a big microphone standing behind a curtain barking his orders. Their curiosity led them to a truth that the 1974 rock band America sang – “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have” and the world is spinning round and round and round. You see, the Wizard had no real power; he simply sowed a lie and those without curiosity did not expose it.
Carl Sagan in his work, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, speaks to the lessons of history. He says, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle, we are no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge even to ourselves that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power, you almost never get it back.”
Curiosity and the search for truth beyond the lies and conspiracies of the world will always prod and poke around until what is behind the curtain is exposed. Erin Brockovitch, Bernstein and Woodward, and many others in corporate life, in the media and some simply walking the yellow brick road seeking help are such who poke around for truth in the story. Too often a person with charisma holds unchecked, unchallenged power. There is nothing inherently wrong with charisma. But charisma without conscience cedes power to conspiracy and lie. Power built on the lie, alongside the big microphone allow the voice of the lie to reverberate in the culture serving only the good of the one who holds the microphone.
So, who will be the seekers of truth? Perhaps it will be those who have needs not tended by the powers that control the narrative. Perhaps it will be the dreamers who vision a truth based on our constitution – that all are created equal. Perhaps it will be those who see the truth in living Christ for the world, Christ who brought down the powerful and turned tables on the lie.
It seems that truth is too easily up for grabs in today’s culture. The mark where the buck stops keeps moving. Fanning flames of curiosity will ultimately burn down curtains of the lie. Only in seeking truth will it be found. Assent to the lie will serve only the lie and the lie has no real future. The Wizard was found out; Dorothy and her little band found life beyond the lie. Their curiosity, their heart, brains, and courage brought them to the truth that saved them May it be so among us.