It didn’t take long for me to realize “Forrest Gump”, would become one of my favorite movies.  There are so many layers of raw emotion and humanity; I glean something new each time I see it.  It’s one of those rare movies that makes you laugh, cry, reflect, and quote for years to come. 

Forrest Gump

From the get-go, Forrest captures the heart of anyone who’s experienced bullying.  His best friend, Jenny, does her best to help him when she famously says “Run, Forrest, Run!” to escape his tormentors.  Forrest takes her advice and as he struggles to run, his leg braces miraculously fall off.  This is such a marvelous visual: struggling, leaving our comfort zone, shedding our shackles, and moving forward. 

Though Forrest isn’t considered intelligent by society’s standards, I think many of us would agree having a friend of his devotion would be a blessing.  His friendship meant commitment, but without strings.  

His mom repeatedly told him he could do anything he wanted – and she didn’t coddle him – so he wasn’t hindered by limitations; real or imagined.  He went to college on a football scholarship, joined the Army, traveled the world playing ping pong, started a successful shrimp boat fleet, and much more.  Most of us have so many reasons why we can’t do something we don’t even begin.

There are probably dozens of life’s analogies I could list from the movie, but here are my two current favorite “Life Lessons from ‘Forrest Gump’” spoken straight from him.

 

“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is”

His love for Jenny was obvious, but he also loved his mother, Lieutenant Dan, and Bubba.  He showed love for all of them by being Real.  He said what he meant, and meant what he said; his actions backed up his words.  He was non-judgmental and devoted.  Yes, I believe he did know what love is.  It would be one of life’s greatest accomplishments to know and show this kind of love.

 

“Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks”

Jenny tries to escape her childhood nightmares by repeatedly leaving Alabama seeking love and acceptance.  The time she comes home and finally confronts her past, Jenny visits her childhood home with Forrest.  She throws her shoes, then some rocks at the old, abandoned house.  When she’s done, she falls into a sobbing heap on the dusty road.  Startled and confused, Forrest slowly joins her and sits awkwardly beside her.  It’s such a picture of connection –he couldn’t relate to, or fix her pain; but he went into the depths with her.  In the end, that’s the most healing thing we can do for each other.

 

What about you?  What life lessons have you drawn from ‘Forrest Gump’ or other movies?

 

 

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