Lucy, Forrest Gump and Winston Churchill

You know this scene: Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz are working in a chocolate factory. The line begins to speed up. Suddenly their easy job becomes difficult. They panic, stuffing chocolates in their hats, in their mouths, in their uniforms….but the conveyor belt just keeps running. This season often makes me feel like Lucy.  Every year I try and try to become more organized, to get things done earlier and to find time to relax and enjoy the delightful and anticipated onslaught of family. But every year, that conveyor seems to speed up, those chocolates ride across faster, and every year I face a new season with the intention of staying on top of it. But the lesson of Lucy’s chocolate conveyor belt is that I never do. Why? Because every year more chocolates arrive.

Forrest Gump’s mother really did have it right. Life IS like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get, but for most of us chocolate is a treat and a delight. Occasionally you get an unexpected center, yes — and sometimes you want to spit it out. But most of the time, well, chocolate is chocolate, and life is life. As we ride through on that conveyor belt, most of us in the James Madison University Community are pretty fortunate. But while we’re not sure what we will get, we can know what we can give. Gifting, so characteristic of this season — giving hope, giving time, giving opportunity, giving bright lights — well, that’s never unknown.

Sir Winston Churchill.

Image via Wikipedia

Winston Churchill once said, “if the present ignores the past then there’s no hope for the future.” In this chocolate season, a lot of us, me included, think a lot about the present and the past. It should prompt us to improve the future. While it’s easy  to get caught up in the season, we need to consider the future — and what we have that can become the means and opportunity to make the future brighter.

For too many people in the world, the concept of abundance is foreign — for many, it’s unknown. But we can do something about it. One small act, one small gift, one small chocolate at a time, we can look at the present, remember the past and change the future of a child in an impoverished nation, a homeless person lacking the basics of food and shelter — or even a student struggling with tuition expenses.

Changing the future is attainable, sometimes easy, sometimes hard, but very possible. What will YOU do to change the future?

To help students of the present and the future change the future, check out this link:


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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