I love “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” — the 1971 version starring Gene Wilder, of course. (Please. Is there any contest?? Sorry, Tim. Sorry, Johnny.)
Watching that movie countless times as a young kid, I identified with Charlie. I didn’t have a paper route or provide bread to a bed full of grandparents, but I did share a love of chocolate and a wide-eyed optimism. Still do.
I believe we’re all born like Charlie — well-intentioned and good-natured – but that Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teevee, and Veruca Salt can all be triggered in us simply because we’re human and don’t always make the best choices when we want something.
Augustus drank from the chocolate river and got sucked into the machinery, Violet blew up after eating the 3 course dinner-flavored piece of gum, Mike shrank himself via “Wonkavision” and Veruca threw a tantrum after not getting a golden goose and ended up in the trash. Even Charlie and Grandpa Joe gave into temptation and stole some Fizzy Lifting Drink.
After learning that Charlie was entitled to nothing at the end, Grandpa Joe tried to influence him to give the Gobstopper away in revenge, but Charlie didn’t and apologized to Mr. Wonka instead. (Word to the wise: even grandparents with lots of life experience don’t always set a good example!)
Once I matured, what I gleaned was different. I saw that we all succumb to temptation at one time or another, but that there’s always a chance for redemption.
There may not always be a chocolate reward for doing the right thing, but laying your head down at night with a clear conscious is pretty sweet.
Charlie learned his lesson from the Fizzy Lifting Drink incident and decided not to sell Wonka out, even though he and his family were pretty desperate. We’re talking one meal a day of cabbage water, the occasional loaf of bread, and sleeping four to a bed!
While Jafar would say that desperate times call for desperate measures, he’s in a different movie (Aladdin), and Charlie was no villain.
So Charlie did the right thing, and guess what? When he followed his heart — or his gut, intuition, conscience, whatever you want to call it – he was rewarded with more than he could have dreamed of.
Maybe you think I’m too pie-in-the-sky or wonder whether an 11-year-old is really behind these posts, but bear with me…
Want to believe that when you follow our heart and do the right thing, everything will turn out okay?
Well, you want to believe that because you’re drawn to truth. You just happen to live in a world full of lies, at least for the time being.
But you can change that. When you see more bad stuff than good, instead of letting black clouds follow you and looking for the other shoe to drop, recall some miracles.
Think of times when good things happened to you or to others. There’s your proof of miracles. They can happen, they do happen, and they will happen, but only if you believe.
And just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t. “Bee” patient.
So let’s remember:
Now for some fun! Who’s your favorite character from the movie? Mine is the lady whose husband is being held for ransom. I could watch that scene over and over and over. In fact, I just did.
Here’s to “bee”lieving the best!
Amy, The Queen Bee NYC
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