This is part 9 in the series: RESILIENCE

It will destroy you

Do you remember the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, not the new one with Johnny Depp, but the old one with Gene Wilder? I saw it when I was 10. There I was, just a little kid. I watched the show, and it creeped me out.

What’s the moral of the story anyway? That spoiled-bratty-rotten kids turn out rotten? They are going to be awful.

At the end, there finally appears to be a moment of redemption when we get to see poor little Charlie, who never had two dimes to rub together, going up in the Great Glass Elevator with Grandpa Joe and Willy Wonka. As they are going up in the Great Glass Elevator, Willy Wonka asks, “Charlie, do you know what happened to the boy who got everything he ever wanted?”

(Pause while Charlie looks confused.)

“He was the happiest boy in the world.” says Willy with a smile.

And that’s how the movie ended.

Wait…what? Wasn’t the moral of the story that:

  • If you get everything that you ever wanted, you turn into a rotten spoiled idiot, and
  • If you don’t get everything you ever wanted, you become selfless, kind and hard working?

I was 10 years old when I watched the movie, and I said to myself, “That’s not right.” I couldn’t quite figure it out, but I knew something was wrong with the movie.

We want to believe what Willy Wonka is selling, and that is, “If you get everything that you ever want, you’ll be the happiest person in all the world.”

No. It will destroy you.

“Those the gods wish to destroy, they first call promising.” – Cyril Connolly, (1903-1974).

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