Is life really like a box of chocolates?
Appeared in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, the lead character Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) said “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
A box of chocolates? I grew up loving chocolates, especially that big jar of Nutella which I could go gaga about. If life is a box of chocolates, would it be always sweet? Would it make me happy as how Nutella did?
Loving quotes from a young age, this phrase made me ponder further when I first heard of it. I was a 17-year-old then and going through my fair share of challenges. Why did Forest Gump use chocolates as a metaphor for life? Something so sweet and delicious to describe life? Did he just ruin my love for chocolates? It was hard for me to resonate chocolates with life.
As I matured over the years, I met many people, wore numerous “hats”, faced uncountable challenges and used every experience to develop resilience. That’s when I started seeing the connection with the quote.
Chocolates come in various shapes, sizes and flavours. Chocolates refer to the choices that we make in life which will eventually shape our future. When we pick that chocolate, we are actually picking a path. The bite that we take is the journey of that choice. Is it a sweet or bitter travel? Some may find it too sweet while some too bitter. It is indeed a challenge to get that perfect bite all the time. So what do we do when we don’t like the taste of that chocolate?
Life is not about cursing your present situation every time things don’t go your way. You are the driver of your journey. How fast or slow you go depends on you, but you don’t stop; you fix things, you keep moving until you finally reach your destination. Because when you reach your goal and look back at all the difficulties you had, you will realize that it was just a process that you had to go through to make it worth it. Then you pick another chocolate and move on.
As I am writing this, I shared this quote for the first time with my 17-year-old daughter. She was going through a situation and her response was “Mama, I don’t want the coconut chocolate which will cause me a stomachache but I want the dark chocolate with no almonds”. I told her that it was a choice that she had made and to stick by it regardless of what she was going get from that. Basically, you’ll never know what lies ahead.
A quote that I always share with my family and friends. ”Begin with an end in mind” and when you have that mindset, challenges will become “sweet chocolatey challenges” and actually make the path smoother. So next time you pick a chocolate, pick it wisely because life is indeed like a box of chocolates.
Jagdeep (Programme Manager, Morning Star Community Services Limited)