Fifteen-plus years ago I started working professionally as a Forrest Gump impersonator/look-alike/tribute artist. I used the expression ‘gump-like’ thousands of times to describe a person, one of their attributes, or to define an interaction that occurred between myself and another.
Forrest Gump had many admirable and notable character traits. Forrest was literal. Being gump-like is being literal.
Gump-like is being literal.
Literal as in speaking in straightforward language.
Literal as in using non-nuanced jargon.
Literal as in following the original meaning of words … closely and exactly.
Literal as in avoiding the use of exaggeration.
Literal as in matter-of-fact wording.
Literal as in bypassing doublespeak.
When Jenny asked Forrest who he wanted to be, he responded, “Aren’t I going to be me?”
When Lt. Dan angrily told Forrest he denied him his destiny of being Lt. Dan Taylor by saving his life, Forrest replied, “You’re still Lt. Dan.”
When Lt. Dan asked Forrest if he found Jesus, Forrest asked, “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for Him.”
Now, I’m not suggesting we limit our understanding of words to only their original meaning. Certainly, it’s appropriate to know the subtleties and richness of language. But being plain spoken and exact in our communication makes life simpler … and as Forrest demonstrates, can reveal some of life’s simple truths.
If someone said, “You are ‘gump-like’!” … would you take it as a compliment? I do.
Are you choosing to live a gump-like life?
Next Blog Title: ‘Twas the Gump before Christmas
Next Blog Date: December 23, 2011