Reena is the host of Reena’s Exploration Challenge. Reena says:
Today, we have a paragraph as a prompt. Do whatever you can with it. Reflect on it, twist it, break it into pieces and use a phrase or just write if you agree/disagree or whatever you think about it. As usual, there are no restrictions on length or format. Suit yourself.
“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow; “and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Land of Oz
FOR THE NEW ENTRANTS
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The first thing I notice is that the Scarecrow is talking and the Scarecrow is thought to have no brain. Yet later we find out that he had one all along, he just didn’t believe he had any intelligence. Throughout the film – and I’m guessing in the book also – he was one of the kindest, most caring, and bravest of souls. He didn’t think about doing these things (with his brain), he just did them.
The first part of what he says suggests that being noticed is important, and how you get noticed is to stand out from the crowd in some way. The second part suggests that if you don’t stand out in some way, in this case, by being unusual, you won’t be noticed. This perspective values a person being noticed. There are so many ways to be noticed, some better than others. Speaking generically, if you are noticed for good things, such as kindness, helpfulness, empathy, listening, loving, honesty, sincerity, integrity, consistency, etc., then it is a positive regard. If you are noticed for harmful things such as meanness, exploitation, callousness, overbearingness, hatefulness, dishonesty, superficiality, lacking integrity, inconsistency, etc. then it is a negative regard. But are any of these things unusual? Not really. Anyone who knows human nature knows that all of these things are found in plentiful supply.
Is it OK to be common, to live and die unnoticed like the leaves of a tree? For some, that might be the worst cruelty visited upon a life. Perhaps in infancy and childhood, they were neglected by their parents. As an adult that person may have a phobia about being ignored, or they may have poor self-esteem. In a case like this, one that causes pain to the person, I would say no it isn’t OK. The person would need to cultivate some positive attributes to get themselves noticed.
Speaking for myself, there has to be an aspect of my character that wishes to be noticed, or I wouldn’t be writing in a public forum. But do I need to act in a certain way to get noticed? I say yes, what I write does have to be “unusual” in that it compels a reader to read it. Maybe the writing is a positive attribute I am developing to get noticed? What would happen if my writing did not get noticed? What if I got no “likes” at all?
I think I will stop here. Very interested in hearing any comments, feedback, etc.