Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Talking about Oz

I recently took my two boys, ages 8 and 10, to see the blockbuster hit, Oz The Great and Powerful. 
Movies can be a great way to engage your children not only with getting into their world with movies they like, but also can birth life lesson conversations. 

For those of you who haven't seen it (I promise I won't give too much away!),  at the beginning of the movie Oz says:

"I don't want to be a good man, I want to be a great one."  

At the end of the movie, Glenda says to Oz, "I knew you always had it in you." 
Oz questioned, "Greatness?"

Glenda replies:

"No, something better.  Goodness." 

This line in the movie inspired a great (or was it good?) question from my ten year old son, Joe, last night.  He asked me, "Mom, which is better: Goodness or Greatness?" 

Some of the best conversations we can have with our kids are in the unplanned moments.  

The world teaches us that we should strive for greatness.  However, there are many great people in the world who are not full of goodness.  Greatness is an outward attribute assigned to one by an outstanding ability to perform or excel in their talents.  There is nothing overtly wrong with greatness and it is admirable to aspire to greatness in developing one's gifts, but not at the expense of goodness. 

Goodness, on the other hand, is an inward attribute.  It is an attitude of the heart.  It is a fruit of the Spirit.  

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."  Galations 5:22 

Goodness defines how we treat others.  The fruit of the Spirit have to be developed in our lives just as natural gifts and talents need to be developed.  If we strive for greatness while neglecting our character, we will undoubtedly fall from the heights of greatness when it is obtained.  

Talent can take you to greatness, but it is your character (your goodness) that will keep you there.   

Joe and I had a fruitful conversation about Greatness vs Goodness that I hope will stick with him for awhile.  As a mom, it is in these seemingly small spontaneous teachable moments that some of the greatest lessons are taught.

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