Bravery seemingly eluded the king of the beasts. Fear and trembling was a constant companion. His insides shook and his knees were weak. He couldn’t stand on his own four feet. He was a hot mess.

The man of tin was hollow and empty, like a resounding gong. Unlike the Christmas Grinch who’s too small heart was black like coal, Tin’s unlucky heart had no feeling, or so he believed. Some guys have all the luck but his heart hadn’t any. Maybe he should paint a sign: heart for sale for a penny.

Stuffed with straw like a well known bear of very little substance, startling the crows and the cackling hens took no deep thinking. Mr. Scarecrow’s brain apparently lived in a phony little two-bit town where nothing’s real. He could have stayed in obscurity with a blissful unawareness of a thoughtful life. But perhaps somewhere out in empty space, long before the human race, something stirred and he felt it.

Dissatisfied Dorothy was on a distant journey far from familiar surroundings, perched on the edge of reality. The more she searched, the more homesick she was. She eventually realized home was where the heart was and it didn’t take her 20 days and 20 nights to figure it out.

Elvis Presley wondered out loud if he would be remembered after he was gone.

What do these five real and make believe souls have in common, aside from the slightly warped comparison by the mind of the writer? Each one unknowingly possesses that very thing which they are desperately seeking. It’s all hidden in plain sight but they are blinded and bound by the trapping of their own frailties.

Under proper affirming circumstances and a gentle nudging, the cowardly Lion discovered his soul was a fearless one. He used that push to dig deeper, striking the golden bravery motherlode. Did he get lucky without a rainbow around his shoulder or a horseshoe on his door? Indeed he did. He found caring for others lit a spark that fueled the bravery fire when needed.

The Tin Man lacked the encouragement of an oily balm to loosen his creaky rusty joints. Involutary complacency was his modus operandi and over time he became hopelessly stuck. An apple could be shaken off an apple tree but he was firmly affixed in place. The proper grease and slow and steady movement beget his mobility.

Do you wonder how he got himself in such a fix? He once was a human woodsman who fell in love with a Munchkin girl and wanted to marry her. However, the Wicked Witch of the East wanted to prevent the marriage, so she enchanted the woodsman’s axe so that it chopped off all his body parts. He wants a heart even though he is not mortal so he can once again woo the girl, rekindling their love, and marrying her. Movies often come from books and take a little poetic license with them. The point is, once he was put in motion, he realized β€œA heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”

Scarecrows are generally stuffed with straw, hay and cotton materials. Brains aren’t a common component. But this one desired the ability to figure, decipher and reason. If you think he doesn’t need to, take a look in his eyes. Baby those aren’t raindrops falling out of the sky. The truth is, with age and time and experience comes the wisdom of the ages. His was there since infancy and as he experienced more of life’s multi faceted journey, his thinking process and his brain, expanded exponentially. To start, it ain’t no big thing, but it was growing.

With the help of her friends and companions, Miss Dorothy had eye opening adventures, lovingly caring for others, intellectually working out her difficulties, and bravely finding her way home. The best of the best, right under her nose, was realized.

Human (and fairytale) shortcomings are common place. It’s part of who we are in our perfect imperfection. We’re unintentionally fed lies and we often take them to heart. I’m preaching to myself here when I begin to believe I am not enough or that I am unworthy and unimportant. As perfect as he was in our loving eyes and caring hearts, Elvis Presley felt those familiar doubts.

Imagining any uncertainty that he was of a real lasting importance seems unfathomable. He is the King of Rock and Roll. He is a global super star. He is the light of many lives and a part of us always and forever. How could he have felt such insecurity?

We know Elvis Aaron Presley need not have worried about being forgotten. All that he dreamed came true a hundred times over and all that he possessed became his lasting memorial gift to the world. All he had of most importance was there carried within his soul as he followed his own yellow brick path from the poverty drenched days of Saltillo Road to the rich walls inside the Alabama fieldstone perimeter. The twists and turns along the way brought out his intrinsic possessions.

The truth and strength is within each of us, often just under the surface. It’s through wisdom, experience, and necessity that realization is unearthed. The characters of Oz always possessed that which they felt was lacking. They waved no magic wand and owned no lucky charms but they realized the truth.

Our Elvis will always be remembered. Of that there is no doubt.

“When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times. These gentlemen over there, these are the type who care, are dedicated. You realize if it’s not possible that they might be building the kingdom, It’s not far-fetched from reality.

I’d like to say that I learned very early in life that:

‘Without a song the day would never end, Without a song a man ain’t got a friend, Without a song the road would never bend, Without a song…

‘So I keep singing a song. Good night. Thank you.”