Forest Gump is Wrong
During a very interesting class taught by Rob MacGillivray on visual insights, he asked us what the famous quote in Forest Gump is. Of course, we all shouted “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” which was said by Forest (played by Tom Hanks) quoting his mother.
But when we actually break it down, life isn’t like a box of chocolates. Rob pointed out that life would be a whole lot easier if life is indeed like a box of chocolates. In a box of chocolates, you know what you’re getting… a box of chocolates. You even know the flavours and the ingredients as the box usually has the chocolates listed on the back or those little cards inside. But life isn’t like that. There is no cheat sheet to figure it out. We have no clue what will come our way and if we will like our choices.
So, to all my Forest Gump fans, his mama was wrong. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates at all, which made me ask the question, what can life be compared to? I compiled a list of the things I feel life is like and a short explanation as to why.
Life is like…
A rollercoaster, with ups and downs that are both thrilling and terrifying.
A game of poker, where you can do everything right and still lose, or make a mistake and win big.
A maze, where there are countless paths to take, many of which lead to dead ends.
A puzzle, where you never have all the pieces, and some are constantly shifting.
A stormy sea, with waves that can be calm one moment and dangerous the next.
A garden, where you can plan and plant, but ultimately you are subject to the whims of nature.
A symphony, with many different instruments and notes coming together to create a unique and unpredictable sound.
A dance, where you can plan your steps but must also be ready to improvise when the music changes.
A camera obscura, where our perception of reality is distorted by our biases, experiences, and limitations.
A book with multiple possible endings, depending on the choices we make along the way.
An unmarked package; can be a happy surprise or a dangerous situation with unexpected opportunities or challenges that can be both exciting and daunting.
All the things listed above feel like a much better metaphor for life and represent the unpredictability/variety it has with the need to be willing to take risks and persist in the face of good and bad experiences. Sorry if I ruined this quote for you, but I guess life can still be like a box of chocolates if they were put in a tissue box wrapped with all the ingredients and chocolates listed removed.
P.S. I still love Forest Gump and will probably watch it later today.