Forrest Gump happens to be one of my favourite films. Not because I love Tom Hanks. But because it is more than just a movie; it is a life lesson on celluloid. I re-watch the movie from time to time, hoping to glean something new from Forrest’s utterly unique and fascinating life. Since the last time I watched it, one particular scene has been replaying in my mind: the scene where Forrest sits at a bus stop with a box of chocolates in his hands. He tells a stranger, “My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get’.” Though I have watched the scene numerous times, it felt different this time. It got me thinking what he might have intended to convey through these words.
I wondered if Forrest was referring to the randomness of life—we never know what is going to come our way. Life as we know it, has its highs. But along the way, we face our fair share of lows. During such times, we are told life is about making the right choices and staying positive no matter what. Making the right choice is a necessity, but I wonder how far thinking positively can help. Wouldn’t an overdose of positivity blind one to potential disasters? After all, life is full of surprises.
Perhaps, it is ideal to hope for the best while also preparing for the worst. As Alexa Fischer, actor and entrepreneur, explains, “Nobody plans for illness. Nobody plans for a tree falling on their house. Nobody plans for this stuff, and I think that it’s important that first and foremost you just take the time [to do so]”. This approach doesn’t make an individual a pessimist. It just makes them a better planner, preparing them to face the worst possible situations.
Bangalore-based wedding planner Divya Chauhan relates to this very well. She observes, “It is critical for us to think of all possible outcomes—from the best to the worst—so that we can be prepared to tackle any emergencies.”
Bangalore is the ‘garden city of India’. Naturally, couples love the idea of getting married in open lawns. But 15 minutes of rain can ruin one of the most special days of their lives. “It is for this very reason we wedding planners always have an option A followed by an option B. It is only prudent to think of the worst-case scenarios,” Divya explains.