A few days ago, I was watching my favorite version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. As each of the Golden Tickets were found, I found myself feeling a sense of disappointment and let down as if I was Charlie and in the movie. Thinking “perhaps, Charlie is feeling the same way as I do that all of the children who found golden tickets appear to be either spoiled rotten, ungrateful and/or entitled”. After it was determined that the 5th ticket found was a fraud, sheer luck – and perhaps fate – allowed Charlie to be the final child who found a golden ticket. Oh how my heart jumped for joy thinking, “yes! A good humble kid will get to tour the chocolate factory!”
Oftentimes, art imitates life and life imitates art. As I watched this movie, I thought to myself how often this plot line in a movie actually happens in real life. That the very people who seem ungrateful and entitled seem to always have good things happen to them; and those who seem to need “a break or a chance” almost never find those golden ticket moments in life. As I continued watching the movie, and each of the 4 rotten kids met untimely exits from the factory tour before it is over, I again compare this phenomenon to real life that quite often those who are given golden opportunities and are unappreciative and ungrateful for the opportunity that they have been given will often time find themselves make a premature exit from or squander the opportunity.
There are countless professional athletes – too many to name – who fit this bill. They were given amazing opportunities to play professional sports, made millions of dollars, only to find themselves bankrupt shortly after retiring from the league. I’m also reminded of a young lady who received a college scholarship to attend one of the top institutions in the Nation – an Ivy League University. Instead of being appreciative of the opportunity she had been given, she somehow got involved with drug dealers and a murder – was subsequently kicked out of school, lost her scholarship, and sentenced to prison. There are countless athletes who are probably just as good as or better than some guys who made it to the big leagues but for one reason or another were not afforded the opportunity to play at the professional level or other students who were probably just a qualified for the scholarship but were not chosen, who would have greatly benefited from a scholarship to an Ivy League institution and would have not only been appreciative of this amazing and rare opportunity but would have used it to change the course of their lives and not end up worse than when they started.
That being said, I’m hopeful with the way Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ended. The story ended with Charlie, the good guy, inheriting the Chocolate Factory and being able to have his entire family live with him – what an amazing blessing! I know, this is a story, a mere fairy tale. But quite often, life imitates art and art imitates life.
I recall being single, and I remember a time when it seemed as if all the good men were either married or attached; and thinking what slim pickings there are in the single men pool. I knew that there were “good guys” out there but I seemed to rarely come across any who were available. After going through heart-break and disappointment, I kept the faith knowing that when true love manifested itself, I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had indeed blessed!
There are plenty of “Charlie’s” out there who were given a golden opportunity in life and they made the most of it. I know, I’m one of them!