Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is Life Like a Box of Chocolates?

Okay, so I haven’t seen Forest Gump in a real long time, but I keep finding myself thinking about that movie.  Maybe it’s a sign from the universe trying to tell me to pop in the DVD and pick up on the metaphysical messages that reach out and grab me by the collar.  Or it could be that I just need a feel-good-entertaining movie.  Either way, I was thinking about the line Forest’s mom tells him on her death bed.  Remember it?
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Yeah, it is a profound line, maybe one of the best lines in the movie.  I can tell you, it is one of the most memorable ones.  Anyway, I got to thinkin’, there are a couple of ways I can interpret that line.  (Which BTW, makes it such a great line!) 
So if I wanted to look at that quote straight on and literally, I would have to say, no life isn’t like a box of chocolates.  Because nowadays, most boxes come with the little insert with all the chocolates labeled and they even go far enough to tell you what ingredients/calories it has too.  Even See’s has a little label on the Christmas wrapping paper giving you an idea what kind of chocolates are in the box.  I could even bet there’s a website with all the information we want. 
But it makes me think, is my life labeled, predictable and contained?  Do I really take small tastes of some parts, I didn’t like before, seeing if I might have changed my opinion of its flavor since the last time I tasted it?  Do I gorge on my life?   Do I give my kids the part of my life, I don’t really like, to see if they are willing to take that instead of my favorites?  I don’t think so-- or maybe….
What if I looked at that line a different way? 
“Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”  Hum, is my life unpredictable? Do I wake up every day, open my front door and wonder what is life going to give me?  Do I cherish the good parts and discard the rest?  Do I try and accept there are parts I’m not going to like, but maybe, those are parts others will love?  In this case, yeah my life is exactly like a box of chocolates.    I don’t know what’s going to be given to me from day to day, but I gotta trust I’ll like some part of it. 
I can’t say I’m as organized as the sweet, milk and dark chocolates that rest in their perfectly ribbed, paper sorter, thing-a-ma-jiggies.  But come on, most of us know what’s underneath the red and gold wrapping of that rectangular box.    
It’s when I get surprised by a two pound box that I stand grateful that repetition can be so flavorful.   And lucky for everyone else, there happens to be enough good ones to share. 

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