I’m about to get all sentimental and flowery. Bear with me, and you may
agree. Hands down, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) is my favorite
movie. (Yeah, me and a large army, I know, I know.) As I approach 40 it’s
starting to take on new meaning, and I realize why it’s resonated so
strongly with me all these years.
Basically, Charlie Bucket in his purest form is determined, hopeful and a
survivor. He never gave up and kept reaching for that Golden Ticket. He
always believed something better awaited him. Through triumphs and
letdowns, Charlie found his way. And that’s no joke.
When I look around at so many people, it breaks my heart to see wasted
potential. People let things get the better of them, and somewhere along
the way ambition diminishes. It happens to the best of us. We lose sight of
the Golden Ticket. For some, the Golden Ticket may be a house, career,
family or even a soulmate. For others, it may be a cure for
illnesses, happiness or just one day with peace of mind. If everyone
took the time to figure out what their Golden Ticket is, I think we
would all be better off. When we cease to better ourselves, hope dies
and that’s just not a good place to be.
Through my own life experiences, I’ve had what I thought was the Golden
Ticket. It’s been ripped out of my hands many times, and replaced only to
be lost again. It’s taken me a while to realize I’m probably still looking
for it. But, like Charlie Bucket, I won’t stop trying. And when I find
myself in trouble, I’ll just tell myself, “Burp, Charlie! It’s the only way