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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Remembering the wisdom of the movie Forrest Gump

courtesy photo

In 1994 a movie came out about a man with a more simple way of approaching life.

Forrest Gump was a hit and Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his portrayal of the title character.

This was not a favorite movie of mine. I loved the soundtrack but the movie itself just rang too sweet for me.

Lately, I have been playing the soundtrack at the office.

But there are lines from the movie that keep repeating in my head, especially lately. Gump’s mother, played by Sally Field, was the source, according to her son, for most of the gems that will appear in this column

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

The actions you take define your stupidity not your actual level of intelligence. I find this quote actually fits people who are perceived to be of above average intelligence.

“Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

You may be hoping that you get the delicious caramel but instead you are stuck with the strawberry cream one. Hopes and wishes are great but you really won’t know what things will turn out until you take a bite.

Caveat: My grandmother was known for pushing her nail up into the chocolate from the bottom so she could see what was hiding under the chocolate.

“You’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”

Easier said than done, am I right? I know we are supposed to forgive and forget, but I would rather forgive and never forget the behaviors that lead to this moment.

“Dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”

This one always hits hard. We have said goodbye to some truly remarkable people lately. The memories we are left with are just not the same as the having the person here.

“You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where they going, where they been.”

I have always thought this quote was a modified version of Atticus Finch’s line in To Kill a Mockingbird, “One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.”

For me, I have always tried to see things from other peoples’ perspectives. I fail when it comes to the criminal element or to the truly malevolent.

Compassion is a gift and should be given freely.

“You have to do the best with what God gave you.”

Not everyone will be a talented athlete or a virtuoso on the piano. It is up to each of us to reach our full potential. Our parents and family should nurture our talents as a child along with school leaders. In adulthood it is up to each person to be the best version of themselves.

“There’s only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off.”

As a teen, this made no sense to me. As an adult, I get it. While I don’t mind consumerism, I find I want less things with each passing year.

Maybe the movie will grow on me or maybe I really liked it more than I realized.  

Nah. I just like the quotes.

Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette. In 2022, she was named an “Editor Extraordinaire” by Editor & Publisher Magazine and in 2021 won two awards for investigative journalism.


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