Forrest Gump: A Simple Man
I just watched Forrest Gump for the first time(covers face). “The movie follows Forrest Gump, a simple man with a low I.Q. but good intentions. Entirely without trying, Forrest teaches Elvis Presley to dance, becomes a football star, meets John F. Kennedy, serves with honor in Vietnam, meets Lyndon Johnson, speaks at an anti-war rally at the Washington Monument, hangs out with the Yippies, defeats the Chinese national team in table tennis,etc.” You should totally watch it if you haven’t yet or maybe watch it again if you have already.
The movie helps me understand the difference between a SIMPLE MAN and a SIMPLETON. It calls me out on my hypocrisy for all the times I called myself simple and makes me see the beauty in a man who lived for now and could only think so far ahead. I relearned the concept of obedience. I saw the connection between love, trust and obedience. Jenny told Forrest to run and he did so because he loved and trusted her. That run straightened out his back, got him a football scholarship to college, saved him as a soldier during the war, gave him a best friend for life and made him a national hero. I know it’s only a movie made out of a fictitious novel but i think it wouldn’t be much different in real life. A mother using everyday simple things to explain the complexities of life so that her son could understand it, reminding him everyday that he was not stupid and so when a girl he loved told him to run, he acted on it because he is not stupid.
There are so many people living with different kinds of disability around us today and for those who don’t have a physical one, people like Forrest Gump who have low IQs and learning disabilities, we often think of them as SIMPLETONS because we measure them based on our own pedestal. Our thoughts about them limit our interaction with them and robs us of the opportunity to learn from and be helped by them. Tonight, i’m reminded that every human being is wonderfully and fearfully made by God and the fact that some are simpler than others should only make us desire to see through their eyes so maybe we can get rid of the burdens we are dealing with as “complex” humans who are able bodied and with high IQs.
I had moments when i wanted to cry during the movie but it was so well scripted and acted that those moments passed very quickly before the tears would well up in my eyes. I realized i would have been crying out of pity and i think the writer had intended for me to see Forrest as another guy with low and high moments but never to be pitied because he was a much simpler man. I hope that i truly learn how to treat everyone as humans first and not define them by their looks or mental state so that i could enjoy the colours of beauty that they add to this world.
Forrest Gump is a story of love, trust, obedience, focus based on the life of a man who was thought to be a simpleton but proved to be just a simple man who rose above by staying true to his simplicity.