As young Forrest Gump walks home from the doctor’s office with his newly outfitted leg braces, he crosses the street and gets his foot stuck in the gutter grate. After a difficult struggle, his mother finally frees him from the trap. Meanwhile, two old men sit on the barbershop bench, staring in amazement as this whole scene unfolds. Mrs. Gump admonishes them, “What are you all staring at? .. Haven’t you ever seen a little boy with braces on his legs before?”
Mrs. Gump and Forrest continue walking along the sidewalk. Passing by the men, Mama holds tightly onto Forrest’s hand and says, “Don’t ever let anybody tell you they’re better than you, Forrest. If God intended everybody to be the same, he’d have given us all braces on our legs.”
After a mile or so walk through town and past Route 17, Mama and Forrest reach the Gump house. Walking up their driveway, Mama continues, “Remember what I told you, Forrest. You’re no different than anybody else is.”
When they reach the front porch, Mama bends down to look Forrest in the eye and repeats, “Did you hear what I said, Forrest? You’re the same as everybody else. You are no different.”
In a humorous twist, the very next scene shows the Greenbow County School as the principal leeringly laments, “Your boy’s … different.”
Forrest was different.
And you are different.
And your spouse is different.
And each of your children is different.
And each of your co-workers is different.
Each and every one of us is different.
The key was in Mrs. Gump’s first remark when she advised Forrest, “Don’t ever let anybody tell you they’re better than you.”
No one is better.
No one is better than the next guy.
We’re all simply different.
We’re all simply human beings.
Next Blog title: Real Change Starts with a Blank Canvas
Next Blog date: January 27, 2011