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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Powerful Lesson from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Did you ever see a movie called, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”? Did anyone ever not see “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”? So, Charlie wins the golden ticket. Five children win the golden ticket including Charlie. And because he wins the golden ticket, he gets to take the tour of the factory. And he gets a lifetime supply of chocolate, and he gets to take one person with him.

So, he decides to take his Grandpa Joe. You've got Charlie and you've got Grandpa Joe, and then you got the four other brats and their parents, mothers, fathers, whatever. And they're taking the tour of the factory. And one by one, we're getting rid of the brats. And then all of a sudden, we've just got Charlie and Grandpa Joe and Mr. Wonka left-- you remember, we've just come out of the Wonka vision room. Remember the Wonka vision room? Everything was in white. Everything was in white, and we shrank Mike TV down to about this big. We put him in his mother's purse, and we sent him off with the Oompa-Loompas. We sent him off with the Oompa Loompas to do whatever Oompa Loompas do to someone who's been shrunk this big from the Wonka Vision.

So, we left. We just got Grandpa Joe. We got Charlie. We've got Mr. Wonka. And all of a sudden, Mr. Wonka's mood changes. All of a sudden, Mr. Wonka's mood changes. He's busy. He's got to go. He's got phone calls to make and letters to write. And he says, "I hope you enjoyed the tour. The door's there. Show yourself out." And he disappears in behind his office door. And Grandpa Joe's standing there and Charlie's standing there. And Charlie looks up at Grandpa Joe and he says, "What happened?" Grandpa Joe says, "I don't know. But I'm going to find out." And he goes marching into the office. He opens the door. And remember, in the office, everything's in halves, half a desk and half a chair and a half a picture and a half a mirror and half a filing cabinet. And he walks up behind Mr. Wonka who's sitting at half a desk on half a chair writing half a letter with half a pen. And he says, "Mr. Wonka, what about the chocolate?" Mr. Wonka doesn't say anything. He just keeps writing his letter. Grandpa Joe continues, "You know, the lifetime supply of chocolate because Charlie, he won the golden ticket. And we had the tour of the factory. And we enjoy the tour of the factory. But when does he get the chocolate?" Mr. Wonka gets really angry. He says, "There is no chocolate. You stole fizzy lifting drinks from the fizzy lifting drink room, and you floated it up in the ceiling. And now the ceiling has to be sterilized. And you broke the rules. There is no chocolate." And Grandpa Joe says, "I didn't see any rules." Mr. Wonka gets up out of his chair and he walks over to the filing cabinet, half a filing cabinet, takes out half a copy of the contract that the kids had signed at the beginning of the tour and begins to read it with half a magnifying glass. Grandpa Joe looks at him in disbelief. He says, "You're a crook. You're a thief. You're a swindler. How could you crush a little boy's dreams like this?" And Grandpa Joe turns around to leave. But as he does, he realizes that Charlie has walked into the room and has witnessed this scene. And the look on his face can just tell that he's crushed, absolutely crushed.

And remember, earlier in the movie, Mr. Slugworth, who was Mr. Wonka's arch competitor, had offered Charlie more money than he could earn in 10 lifetimes if Charlie would bring him one what? Gobstopper. Everlasting Gobstopper, very good, one Everlasting Gobstopper. And what had Mr. Wonka given Charlie during the tour? One Everlasting Gobstopper, one Everlasting Gobstopper. So, Grandpa Joe, he walks over and he takes Charlie by the arm. And he says, "If Slugworth wants an Everlasting Gobstopper that's just what we'll give him." And with that, Charlie stops walking. And he takes Grandpa Joe's hand off his arm. And he turns around and he walks back into the office. He walks up behind Mr. Wonka, who once again now is sitting at half a desk on half a chair writing half a letter with half a pen. And he takes the Everlasting Gobstopper from his pocket and he says, "Mr. Wonka." And he places the Everlasting Gobstopper on the edge of the desk. Wonka, he doesn't look up. He doesn't turn around. He doesn't move. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't even look at the Everlasting Gobstopper. He doesn't have to. He just reaches out his arm across the desk. He grasps the Everlasting Gobstopper and he whispers, "And so shines a good deed in a weary world." And that's all it needs. That's all it needs. And you have the power and I have the power and we know we have the power, and we know when the opportunity emerges for us to engage that power, but we too often let that opportunity pass us by. We too often let that opportunity to be the difference that makes the difference pass us by.

Charlie knew what the right thing to do was, and he did it. Truth be told, in 99.9% of situations, you and I, we know what the right thing to do is. We just don't always do it. When we do it, there's a warmth, there's a glow, there's a happiness that comes from doing the things that we know are good, true, right, noble, and help us become the best version of ourselves. When we don't do the things that we know are the right things to do, when we don't do the things that we know will help us become the best version of ourselves, there's a sense of disappointment. There's an emptiness created by that sense of disappointment. It's a disappointment in ourselves because somewhere deep inside, we want to reach out and grasp the best version of ourselves. Somewhere deep inside, we want to be all we can be.

Matthew Kelly

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