I first read FORREST GUMP by Winston Groom when I was in secondary school and did not give it much afterthought. However, after re-reading it numerous times in recent years, I find myself deeply fascinated with the fool from Alabama. Gump whose IQ is only 75 has taught me much about my direction on the road of life.
A feather floats groggily in the air, finally coming to rest at the foot of Forrest Gump. Gump is sitting on a bench in Alabama narrating his life story to fellow passengers who are waiting for the bus. He says:"Let me say this: being an idiot is no box of chocolates. People laugh, lose patience, treat you shabby. Even so, I got no complaints, cause I reckon I do live a pretty interesting life, so to speak." This first sentence of the novel has keynoted the book as a satire on society. Throughout the novel, Gump never stops his inane behaviors against the grain of the complicated society he lives in.
Gump lives a simple life without stress, vexation or jealousy, just like the floating feather that does not know its destination. The feather floats up and down, just like our life; but along with the wind and rain, it has to fall at some point, just like many things are out of Gump's control: his congenital disabilities (intellectual and physical), mockery and ridicule from others at his single-parent family, his first sexual experience with Ms. French he does not love instead of his beloved Jenny, a dropout because of his grade "F" on Sports Theory, the death of his comrade in arms etc. Gump has been dealt as one of the worst possible hands in life. Yet, astonishingly, he does not grumble or gripe, but simply says, "I got no complaints."
Despite his disabilities, Gump still finds something he can do. In the process, Gump focuses all his limited wisdom, belief and courage on the way forward and runs blindly, led only by his intuition. Among a shower of stones from his bullies, he runs away from their laughter; along with curses from his coach, he runs across the football field; amidst a hailstorm of bullets, he runs through the thickets of Vietnam; accompanied by religiously fanatic followers, he runs across America on a whim. He insists on what he thinks is right; that is the only belief he upholds. Gump's determination in his belief is his finest virtue: if one complies with it, then everything will go well; if one goes against it, something terrible might happen. Such a simple and perseverant attitude towards life is the strongest evidence of his savant-like wisdom.
Near the end of the novel, Gump says, "I still got dreams like anybody else, an ever so often, I am thinking about how things might have been." Although there are no solutions to some problems, it does not matter too much. Time is always ticking away ruthlessly; it urges us not to waste too much of it pondering.
Throughout the years, I have modeled my life after Gump's. Though my IQ is 138, nearly twice that of Gump's, I am more than willing to learn from him. From China to Singapore and then America, I have never given up pursuing my dreams. Although there have been and will be many setbacks along this journey, I am sure it will end favorably as long as I never forget to keep running towards my destination.
It is unnecessary for us to live an over-complicated life, and impossible to plan our every step like a chess game as anything can happen in an instant. I believe in moving forward firmly, and letting the rest go with the wind.