A Cover Is Not Always What It Seems

Picture courtesy of Amazon

The other day while flipping channels, I came across one of my all-time favorite movies, Forrest Gump. I’ve seen it a gazillion numerous times. And no, I’ve never read the book for which the movie is based for fear it would *air quotes* taint *air quotes* my endearment for the film.

Anyway, using the movie as an excuse not to write (don’t judge me), I snuggled down in the comfort of my bed for the next several hours losing myself in the world of Forrest and his adventures, laughing and crying all the way.

Afterwards, I thought about the reasons why I loved the movie so much. I mean, was it the way Forrest is placed into various historical events over several decades and, in some instances, unwittingly influences the outcomes of the events? I mean, Nixon and the Watergate one makes me howl with laughter every time. Could it be his heroic stance in the Vietnam War where, in his effort to save his friend, Bubba’s life, he pulls most of the men from his platoon to safety without regard to his own life? Or is it the way Forrest earnestly narrates his life’s story on a public bench to a rotating line-up of waiting bus patrons? Maybe it’s his undying devotion and love for Jenny?

It could be the combination of all those things but deep down it’s my admiration for Forrest. As a child, he was characterized as having lesser intelligence than what most people are suppose to have. Yeah, right. He had more sense than most of the individuals he encountered and probably accomplished more things than many of the people who called him an idiot.

See, sometimes people tend to judge a book by its cover. I think we see that happen a lot…I think we may have even been guilty of it ourselves. You know what I mean. People see someone who’s different, not quite like themselves and they automatically assume that person is not up to par. That they’re not somehow worthy of their time but only of their prejudice.

I don’t think people actually believe themselves to be perfect. (Ok, I’m sure there are a few out there who do.) I think they’re scared of their own flaws and differences. So it’s easier to point out what’s wrong with others before any of their so-called disparities are found out.

Forrest Gump is just a movie but it’s a great story that makes us step outside of our self-made boxes and take a look at how we view other people who aren’t quite like us. And, yes, people are different but it’s the way they’re judged for them that makes it astonishing. We never know what person we encounter will teach us a life-lesson or give us inspiration.

Is there a book or movie that is near and dear to your heart that made you think outside of your box? Or perhaps one that left you with a lasting lesson?

Categories: ~Random Madness~ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “A Cover Is Not Always What It Seems

  1. alittlelifeinphotography

    i loved forrest gump too, be glad you didn´t read the book. it´s good but not the movie. i´m trying to think if any movie ever changed my life. or even made me think differently. but probably every movie i ever loved changed me on some atomic level. amadeus. yes, probably amadeus. but i don´t know how or why. only that when i left the theatre, i was different. nice post!

  2. Jan

    Almost every book or movie I really loved was life altering in some way. Most recently, The Book Of Eli elevated my thinking. When Eli explains the pre-war world by saying: “People had more than they needed. They didn’t know what was precious. They threw away what they kill for now”, he was describing who and what we are right now as well as who and we will be soon. Thanks for your thoughtful writing and for reminding us to be more open…to look beyond ‘the cover’.


  4. Forrest Gump is a great movie. I laughed to myself when you said instead of writing, you watch the movie. 🙂 But I think it inspired you as well and that will come out in your writing.

    I also feel very strongly about not judging people by the “covers” — you never can know a person just by their appearance.

  5. Thanks for such a wonderful post

  6. A favorite movie of mine which always moves me is “The Notebook.” I’ve watched it a thousand times. This movie makes me believe there’s truly such a thing as REAL unconditional love between a man and woman, instead of the “wanna be real” pretend kind that runs rampant in our society.

    Melissa, if you’ve never seen The Notebook, run–don’t walk–out and get it right now. Your heart will flip over and over for it.

  7. Demetria, I love The Notebook. That’s another movie that I will turn everything “off” to watch. Their love story is so beautiful, and as you said, unconditional.

    • Melissa, just in case your ears have been ringing (which means someone is talking about you behind your back 🙂 ), your name has come up again on my blog. Stop by to see what was said in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Also, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  8. So here’s my sad little admission…I watched Forrest Gump in its entirety for the first time a little more than a month ago. [Ducks as people hurl stones.] And yes, the film is just as awesome as people always said it was.

    I am fascinated by how good movies (and books) allow us to step outside ourselves and look at the world with a fresh pair of eyes. There are many movies that have done that for me, but one that still sticks with me is Crash. It was a brilliant movie, though hard to watch. I loved that it went beyond ‘the usual’ in terms of issues of race and color.

    • Crash was a moving piece as well. I’ve only seen it once and just remember it being very hard to watch too, as you mentioned. The race issue was handled very differently than it had been in any other movie.

  9. Got me to thinking… Off the top of my head (and this early in the morning) the movie Hugo comes to mind. Wonderful message in that film.
    And you asked about critique partners. (Sorry, couldn’t find your email and I’m not on Facebook.) Yes, I announced on my blog that I needed a couple for my second book. I had well over a dozen offers. I selected six or seven and sent each one the first few pages. When the critiques came in, I read them over and instantly knew who I wanted to work with. You just get that feeling. (And my only requirement was that they’d already read my first book, so they’d be familiar with both my writing style and the storyline.)
    Does that help? Next time I see a blogfest or site that focuses on critique partners, I’ll let you know.

  10. Forrest Gump is definitely one of those special movies that makes us think, laugh and cry. I also love The Shawshank Redemption.

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