Hearing that Gene Wilder died last night was a bit much for me. 2016 has been such a sh*t storm. Everything happened this year-Prince died, Donald Trump is running for President, and Black celebrities keep “All Lives Matter-ing” us on social media. Now the good Lord has taken Willy Wonka on to glory. What now?
Gene Wilder, the actor who is probably best known for his role as the eccentric, fun-loving, candy dealer, “Willy Wonka” passed away last night in his Connecticut home at the age of 83. Known for much more than this role, however, Gene was extremely instrumental in changing the landscape of the entertainment industry. An actor, screenwriter, director and novelist, Wilder always peculiar, and always brilliant, leaves a legacy that any great thespian would be proud of.
By far, one of my favorite childhood movies is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I loved everything about it-the colors, the energy, the characters, the songs. But I especially loved “Charlie”, the bright eyed, bushy tailed protagonist, and I especially loved Mr. Wonka. In honor of Gene Wilder, and one of his greatest works, let’s take a look at 8 Valuable Life Lessons we learned from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
“However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”
Sometimes life can get you down. You don’t always win. But knowing that there’s always a possibility that you might get what you want, gives us hope, and gives us the motivation to carry on each day.
“Don’t argue, my dear child, please don’t argue! It’s such a waste of precious time!”
We waste a lot of our precious time fighting battles with people that we know we’ll never win. Pick your battles wisely.(Of course, fight for the important stuff.)
“Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
Open a damn book. Step away from the boob tube.
“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
Do good. It will be recognized. What a noble thing it is to do good unto others when we’ve seen, heard, and even done some not so nice things in life. You may be TIRED, but doing good always creates a little light in the darkness.
“The snozberries taste like snozberries!”
Many things aren’t always what they seem, but most of them are. 7/10 the snozberries will taste like snozberries. Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.
“If you want to view paradise, simply look around, and view it.”
We don’t always recognize it, but we are surrounded by so many amazing things and so many amazing people. You don’t have to be on a beach in Bermuda to be in paradise. You can create your own, or see the beauty in the things around you.
“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”
Self explanatory. Perhaps that was vodka and cranberry juice in Mr. Wonka’s “waterfall.”
“You get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!”
This was a tough lesson for Charlie to learn. An even tougher lesson for me to watch. Mr. Wonka was the fun-loving adult that we all looked up to, and wanted to hang out with. He was our pal. But when he got all red in the face and turned on Charlie & Grandpa Joe, it was life changing!
Now though, I understand what Mr. Wonka meant and why he was so upset. He really wanted Charlie to win, but Charlie let him down. He didn’t follow the rules. This taught us that there are consequences and reactions for every action. You HAVE to do what’s right, or it’s possible that you may lose, and you may lose BIG.
Gene Wilder taught us so many things, both on and off screen, whether he knew it or not. I for one, certainly appreciate it. Click below to take a trip to “Paradise” as “Willy Wonka” knew it.