I read somewhere recently that in the original story, 'The Wizard of Oz', the tin man was actually a real man until the wicked witch convinced him to trade each part of his body for tin parts which made him more efficient at his work. Eventually he gave up every part of himself, including his heart; becoming a machine and incapable of love.
I was thinking about this today because I've spent the last few weeks working in various factory settings as I needed some work over the summer. Each time I was filled with sadness about how the drive for efficiency, consumerism and profit has meant that so many people working in these kinds of places are expected to work with the speed of machines, are paid very little and were under a lot of stress because of the high work demands they have to meet. A radio was taken away from one of the places I worked because apparently the management believed it was too much of a distraction for the workers (I kid you not). The way I was spoken to by the staff I reported to was challenging - I felt less of a human being, a nobody, just a commodity.
We are not machines, we are flesh and blood with hearts that feel emotions - the most important one being love. The stillness that the Carmelite tradition promotes is one of the ways that we can find our human-ness again....being still and silent with God, knowing that we are more precious to Him than any treasure. When the world treats me in a way that says I'm not of value or worth I have to remember to retreat into the loving arms of God and listen to what He says about me. I make a determined vow that I will not allow the ways of the modern world to turn me into a tin man - much more efficient but incapable of giving and receiving love, which is what we were made for.