Should we all be more like Forrest Gump?

“Forrest Gump” is one of my favorite movies. It’s not only a movie about an amazing person and an improbable hero, but an inspiring movie as well.   

In the movie, we were all made quite aware that Forrest isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, nor does he communicate particularly well, but…, as we learn throughout the rest of the movie, his redeeming qualities are quite impressive.

Forrest was honest with everyone he interacted with, and he had nothing to hide.

His moral compass was straight forward and non-negotiable.

Forrest was extremely loyal and caring. Who could ask for a better son, a better father, or a better friend?

Forrest accepted his responsibilities, and did what was right and what was needed to be done without question or complaint.

Forrest was able to focus on, and master, one thing at a time, which is a valuable lesson. Most of us are destined to become a “Jack of all trades, but a master of none.”

And, Forrest “knew what love is.”

Whether it as playing football, being a soldier, playing ping pong, running, or being a shrimp boat captain, Forrest strived to do his best at whatever he was focused on at the time.

It was really quite simple.

During my time as an elementary school teacher, my class would routinely read about other children who had accomplished great things in the worlds of music, or sports, etc.

I would ask my kids what they felt was stopping them from accomplishing those same things?

I usually would not get much of a reply as they pondered the question.

I would then proceed to let them know that THEY were the only thing stopping themselves from accomplishing great things.

They were the ones listening to people who said they couldn’t do this, or couldn’t do that.

They were the ones sabotaging their own potential accomplishments.

And we all know that, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Then there is the matters of dedication and sacrifice.

I would tell the kids, it’s not necessarily a matter of talent or knowledge, but a matter of desire.

I would remind them that in the story we read, the boy or girl normally talked about getting up early every day and practicing many hours each day.

I would ask them, “Don’t you think you’d be very good at playing a given instrument, or playing a given sport, if you practiced as much as this other kid did?”

Our education system is not designed for each student to reach their full potential. Our education system is designed to help make our students productive citizens…, and it doesn’t even to a good job at that.

Should we all be more like Forrest Gump?

Definitely.

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Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

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