There is great wisdom woven into the Academy Award winning movie Forrest Gump. As you know, the plot is a stream of successive surprises from a mentally challenged man many would dismiss as irrelevant. Yet, despite almost impossible odds, he continually makes innocent forward progress despite obvious special needs and handicaps.
What I like best is Gump’s attitude toward his friends and associates. He always stayed optimistic and chose the high road. He never seemed concerned about his own personal well-being. Some may say he was too “simple” to consider what he was really doing. Or, one could take the position that he had no fear for or focus upon his reward. He simply did what he needed to do. What he considered the “right” thing to do. Sorry … I see a clear love for people that was unstained by the traditional life and business motives.
Perhaps most powerfully, the movie illustrated many of the reactions to this self-effacing generosity. Lt. Dan perhaps is the one we best remember. Having lost his legs in combat, he had become bitter and self-destructive. He became very upset that Forrest rescued him from what some might declare a suicide mission, and then when he lost his legs, Forrest would even see beyond his infirmities. Through Forrest’s love for him and his promise to a fallen comrade “Bubba,” he decides to start a shrimping business with Dan that ultimately results in him moving well past his infirmities.
I know some of you will criticize me as a romantic. Guys are not supposed to be this way. I am OK with that criticism. I am a romantic … and proud to be one. I do understand how people become cynical … after all … I am an engineer … my wife calls me Dr. Doom. I guess the reason I cherish this movie is that being honest about a situation is not the same as giving up. I am and have been fully willing to charge Hell with a water pistol … just at least give me something that resembles a water pistol and I am in.
The movie also points to a higher calling for all of us. It shows that the love of one another and the striving for a noble goal is so intrinsically attractive; it draws the talent needed to make it a reality.
So, what is your excuse? Why are you still holding pity parties? Stupid is as stupid does.
Isn’t it time to move on? Invest your ping-pong winnings in a fruit company … And, it is ironic that Steve Jobs is known for having said this: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And, while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”