Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies. In one famous scene, Forrest is sitting on a park bench waiting for a bus and he shares his life story with those who join him on the bench. He asks a lady who joins him on the bench if she would like a chocolate and then proceeds to tell her his life’s story while offering her that “my mama always said life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” Later in the movie Forrest’s mom,as she is dying, conveys these words as a metaphor to her son telling him, it is up to him to make the most of what he has been given in life.
Metaphors are figures of speech according to Merriam-Webster “in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money).” Metaphors help us make sense of the world by providing a symbolic framework to explain ideas or concepts.
“If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.” – Joesph Campbell
The metaphors we use to describe life can provide a tremendous amount of insight about our perceptions and perspectives. How would you answer the following, “Life is a _______ (fill in the answer).”
When I was growing up I used to think of life as like a game. I was very competitive and wanted to win at everything I tried. The games I played as a kid were Monopoly and Risk, both of which are about conquering your opponents either through economic or military means.
As I entered the real world I can recall people espousing that it was a dog-eat-dog world where life was no longer a game but a real fight to the death. In this view, you needed to get your opponent quickly befoe they had an opportunity to get you.
Luckily for me, I woke up after being in the dark with a new idea of what life really was. A lightbulb went off in my head. Today I want to help us all shine brighter by using our God-given resources more effectively and efficiently.
Here is a brief video with more about metaphors and my own metamorphosis —
Please let me know what your metaphor of your world is today and any past versions you would like to share.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
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