Just a few weeks ago was the 20th anniversary of one of America’s most beloved films: Forrest Gump. (When did we all get so old?!)
This fabulous film is equal parts funny, inspiring, and downright heart-wrenching. In fact, there are quite a few life lessons that can be learned from this fabulous movie—and not just about chocolates and running (although that’s definitely included).
Listen up, and prepare to have the intense urge to open up Netflix and start re-watching. (Yes, it’s on Netflix. You’re welcome.)
Forrest always blurts out everything that’s on his mind, and it cracks everyone up—or helps them realize something huge about themselves. Sometimes it can be mildly offensive…but no one really minds, because he always means well.
Whether it’s the lady at the bus stop or the president of the United States, Forrest treats everyone exactly the same – with equal respect, but also with equal honesty. Brown-nosing doesn’t exist in Forrest’s world, because no matter the status, a person’s a person.
Forrest never hesitates to demonstrate and express his affections for those he cares about. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and everyone who matters to Forrest knows that they matter to Forrest.
Just like he isn’t afraid to express his care for others, he isn’t afraid to love deeply, from the bottom of his soul. He’s not afraid of getting hurt, and he doesn’t overthink – he just loves. A lot of people could learn from this simplicity.
Forrest experiences multiple deaths of those he cares about. Just like all other emotions, he feels his grief strongly and purely. He doesn’t shut anyone out, but rather faces it head-on: by visiting their graves and speaking to them like he always did. He faces death with his mother’s advice:
Someone asks Forrest to play ping pong. He takes the paddle and does it – and he lets his natural talents kick in. After all, who knows what you’re good at if you don’t try?
Well, at least you tried.
Lieutenant Dan may have wanted to die on the battlefield, but Forrest wasn’t about to let that happen.
Your heart may be pulling you in one direction, while others are telling you to go the opposite route. Always trust your gut instinct. It may just save somebody’s life.
Never. Mama knows best.
As the awesome Mama notes, society dictates what “normal” is. It doesn’t really have a true definition – it’s all relative. Don’t ever feel like you have to be “normal.” Let your freak flag fly.
Forrest doesn’t give a hoot about “normal,” and look what happened: he made The King famous and helped someone come up with the smiley face and a clever bumper sticker. And he had absolutely no idea. Be yourself, and remember that your actions matter in more ways than you know…
In my personal opinion, one of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie was when Jenny rejects Forrest’s marriage proposal, and he brings up a particularly cruel insult that she had thrown at him years and years ago.
Think before you speak. Words can wound—and those wounds take a long time to heal.
Casual friendships come and go, but when Forrest finds people he truly clicks with, he knows how special it is—and he doesn’t let that go.
Firstly, ice cream is awesome. Always remember how awesome ice cream is.
Secondly, always share with a friend or loved one in need—even if that particular person dumps your offerings in a bedpan.
Live your life how you want to. Participate in activities simply because you want to.
Not everything has to have a deeper meaning—but when you start doing what you love, it will develop a deeper meaning on its own.
Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76791138@N07/9129073984/sizes/l via Bel Zamarbide
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