Are you familiar with the sense of disorientation you feel after leaving a really good movie?

If the story has captured you well enough, returning to the “real world” takes a few awkward moments of getting used to.

I remember how stunned I was after viewing the first Star Wars movie back in 1976. Sure — the story was compelling, but the special effects were astounding! After shooting around the universe for two hours, through the most realistic space images ever presented on film, I found it impossible to readjust to mundane activities – like driving a car – for the next several hours.

Just 24 hours after viewing Forrest Gump , I still haven’t returned to the “real world.” Forever changed, I don’t think I want to.

Forrest Gump is not a movie. It’s an emotional experience. An experience that reaches far beyond the film.

Forrest Gump is a three-dimensional life review of every man. A look at the people and events that polish us into the people we’ve become – and more importantly – how their rubbing against us has changed them.

Not just the sights and sounds – but the actual feelings.

In seeing the world through the eyes of Forrest Gump, the producers make us laugh at the ironies, cheer with the triumphs, and sob with the pains. The more we feel Forrest Gump’s life, the more we’re forced to look at the way we live our own lives. Sifting through the character’s lifetime of memories, we’re stuck by how seemingly simple events turn out to be defining moments.

The little girl offering a bus seat when others refused.

Bullies chasing the boy with braces on his legs.

A promise made in a Vietnamese rice paddy.

As we relive Forrest Gump’s life, we watch horrified as thoughtless comments slice huge, open wounds into his soul. We see the miraculous results of kind words, spoken at the right instant – to salve those same open sores.

We learn that the simplest nicety done to others, becomes a memory they carry forever. A kind word. A simple compliment. These are the things that impact lives in ways we never see. Can never imagine. Yet increase every single day that we are alive.

Forrest Gump asks us to imagine the impact of every word and every action we’ve ever taken as if magnified a thousand – a million – a hundred million times. Because they are.

We just never see the far-reaching ripples of any human life – let alone our own – until we look back on them from the vantage point of Forrest Gump.

Forrest Gump not only shows us the magnitude of our impact on the world, it makes us understand it. This knowledge, coupled with the emotion it generated, sent a theater full of introspective, disoriented people, out into the night, changed forever.

I used to believe that movies were fantasy and “real life” was reality. But for those who made the emotional connection between their lives and Forrest Gump’s, what occurred in that movie theater was far more real than anything that the “real world” ever offers.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike’s offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz

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