WHENEVER I THINK of a tin man, I think of three specifics: The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, The Tin Man and his family in Faribault, and the absence of a heart.
In the classic tale by L. Frank Baum, The Tin Man is in need of a heart, or love. The Scarecrow needs a brain. And the Lion needs courage.
Now you can take away whatever you want from Baum’s book, for there are, indeed, many take-aways. But the basics of love, knowledge and courage stick all the way along The Yellow Brick Road to The Emerald City.
I wish I didn’t believe this to be true. But too often these days I see heartless Tin Man after heartless Tin Man (you may also insert “woman” here) following a narrow pathway of self-focus with no regard for others. There’s no self-awareness of how actions, words, decisions hurt others. Or perhaps, more accurately, there’s no care for how others are affected by what we say or do. That can apply in business, in politics, in relationships, in friendships, in families…
Sometimes I feel like our collective hearts are missing or atrophying and we really ought to work harder at being kinder, more caring, more considerate, more loving. Better people. Period.
That leads me to The Tin Man and his family in Faribault. A few weeks ago I photographed them at the Rice County Historical Society, where they’ve been hanging out for awhile. Originally, their home was at Lockerby Sheet Metal, which closed abruptly in October 2018 after 110 years in business in Faribault. I’m thankful this family found a new home at the RCHS. They are local icons.
Keeping this family together, recognizing their collective value, says something about the heart of a community. Locals care about The Tin Man and family from an historic, artistic and business perspective. And, perhaps, also from a love perspective. These creations of Lockerby Sheet Metal can visually represent community love. Yes, that’s the marketing, creative and hopeful side of me writing.
Even as I believe too much heartlessness exists in today’s world, I also believe that we are capable of growing our love for one another, of strengthening our hearts. Rather than follow a self-focused narrow Yellow Brick Road, we can pause, stop, consider. Pause. Stop. Consider. When we recognize how our words and actions affect others, then we no longer rattle around like a Tin Man (or Woman) without a heart.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Interesting approach to some fitting advise. I believe that pay it forward or do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. That takes courage, compassion, love, respect, and listening skills. Not everyone has a heart or openness for any of that. Makes it very hard when the two realities collide!
Your added suggestions and insights are good ones, Paula. I am a major proponent of listening.
I love the tin woman! And the DOG!! ❤
Well I absolutely love this family and have hope for the future. We have to focus on the good and those with hearts, I guess.
Trying to be positive. We can all do our parts to make this world a better place.
oh, Audrey this is such a poignant post and everything you say is so true. I am ever hopeful that people will begin or learn to, use their hearts. love the photos too
Thank you, Beth. Yes, we must be hopeful. There’s always hope. Always.
I did not know of The Tin Man and his family in Faribault. I’m glad they were preserved.
Pause, stop, consider…and I add breathe…before responding negatively to something/someone… is good advice in our society with so much division among us.
“Breathe” is a good suggestion rather than reacting immediately.
You’re spot on, Audrey. Love. Compassion. Kindness. Those are what make great communities.
Good to hear from you, Kathleen. You exude all three.