|Republicans increasing support for Israel while Democrats waning|
|Less than 50% of Democrats Now Supporting Israel, Down from 60% high|
|Republicans increasing support for Israel while Democrats waning|
|Less than 50% of Democrats Now Supporting Israel, Down from 60% high|
|Jews still identify most with Democrat party but down to 61%, which may , in part, explain the unexpected drop in Democrat support for Israel, noted in chart #2|
The Democratic Party, once known for its strident support for Israel, has been bypassed by Republicans by almost 30% in the past decades with Republicans now well ahead of Democrats in support of Israel, 75% to 48% as of a recent Gallup (2014) survey
It’s especially interesting because Democrats have, until recent times have been the greatest friends of Israel – and, especially the Jews, of which the great majority have identified as Democrats. But, even this stat, appears to be changing, remarkably, indicated by Chart #3 which shows Jewish Democratic identification was down to 61% in 2014 from over 70% in 2008. So, while the one-time ‘sympathetic’ party has, surprisingly dropped in support of Israel, the latter chart would lead us to believe that more Jews have ‘left the party’ or at least no longer identify with the Democratic party.
We must deduce that the Jewish drop in Democratic affiliation has come in light of the increasing threat to Israel, which includes that coming from increasing anti-Israel America. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Jews may be reacting to America’s increased support for Iran and seeming decrease for Israel, as evidenced by President Obama’s strained relations with Israel while signing off on the big Iran nuclear pact against Prime Minister Netenyahu’s wishes. It’s not surprising to see that some American Jews may be reacting to America’s estrangement with Israel as President Obama has welcomed Muslim immigration to America by 57% while increasing aid to Iran ($150 million) and other Muslim countries.
Many in today’s ‘PC’ culture will get offended by any comparison between Mohammed Ali, who we just lost, and Donald Trump.
But, in fact, Ali and Donald Trump have many things in common. Besides being highly charismatic individuals they were both considered loud and bombastic, perhaps sometimes talking before thinking some would say. Yet, Ali would win back a good share of praise while Trump has not-yet
Ali was considered a radical, of sorts, way back in the EARLY 60s before it was popular. Only years later, did Ali gain more widespread acceptance as he backed up his statements, truly becoming the greatest boxer while also showing a softer, humanitarian side. And, with his strong Islamic beliefs for which he had changed his name from Cassius Clay, Ali went out of his way to accept everyone, from someone as different as Howard Cosell, to Ronald Reagan, yes, President Reagan the Republican – who Ali actually supported for a time. Ali was anything but ‘PC.’ Remember him calling George Foreman the ‘Gorilla from Manilla“?
Trump is getting much of the same negative reaction today that Ali got in the early 60s , but it’s coming, surprisingly – or not so surprisingly- in these more modern, supposedly ‘accepting” times. While Ali is getting most positive (deserved) eulogies, Trump the candidate is the bain of the mainstream media (and much of America) despite a very similar personality and style to that of Ali. Despite a long, positive track record, some will say Trump hasn’t done enough to back up his words -yet- or perhaps our society is still too ‘PC,’ even though Ali’s remarks considered outlandish at the time have become accepted. In fact, Trump has established himself as one of the great businessmen of our time – and continued efforts by the media and political opponents to find fault have mostly gone nowhere as Trump has surprised everyone by coming from a business background to Republican frontrunner for Presiden
Don’t know if Ali and Trump were friends but they would, no doubt, have respected each other and probably could be good friends, despite background or religious differences. It seems that neither Ali or Trump’s bravado came out of dislike or hate for others but more out of self-confidence and a desire to be the best they can. Some may call it braggadocio – and Trump and Ali are not the only ones – and if people can truly back it up there should be a place for them as we seem to have granted Ali- only four years Trump’s senior. Whether Trump will ever get fair due – if and when he finally has earned it (if not already) only time will tell. We believe in giving Trump the chance we gave to Ali. Sure, it was more difficult for Ali as a black man in the era he came up and he should be given that extra due – along with the fact that Ali had to suffer with Parkinsons in later years,. but in a society, which was pretty color blind from the 1970s until perhaps the Obama administration, everyone should be given be the same fair chance. It’s been 50 years since the 1964 equality act was signed by President Johnson – and only another 20 years since anti-semitism was rampant as recently as the 1940s.
Sadly, religious and race relations have taken a big hit in recent years . We no longer see the same acceptance accorded others by Ali by many of today’s politicians and religious leaders and celebrities . Ali never seemed to use his Muslim-ness in a mean-spirited way. It was merely a religion he followed, not intended to be held up against those of other faiths . In addition, as with Trump, we saw a happy humor in Mohammed – not the mean-spirited resentfullness we see today in some of our celebrities and leaders who will wear race and religion all over their sleeves.
It’s a sad irony to say it’s too bad Ali’s voice was all but silenced the past several decades -as he might have been an even ‘louder’ role model that society so sorely needs today. And LOUD can be good. For someone they called a civil rights activitst, but he did it in the most quiet of ways, which can also be good.
No wonder we see candidates once far ahead in primary voting, such as Rick Santorum in 2012, suddenly cast aside by party elite assistance to, e.g. Mitt Romney.
Let’s face it. The insider party candidates are by and large all tied into money, dependent on lobbyists and crony capitalists in buying votes. And, other non- candidate party members are largely beholding to the party line for their jobs. Same goes for members of the media, who are nowadays tied into advertisers who favor certain candidates, usually Democrats or liberal-leaning persons. President Obama’s entire presidency has been politically-based with every decision tied to political gain. Only can someone like Trump come in and shake things up.
Party manipulation has long been part of the voting process, with parties tweaking the electoral delegate process as the Republicans did in 2012 to help Romney gain the Republican ticket. The electoral process may make sense to give small states a fair chance against big states but when it comes to delegate count, that shouldn’t be manipulated every election, if ever. Certainly, the electorate must wonder, at times, what their vote is really worth if the party is going to make the ultimate decision who wins elections.
Voters must wake up, appreciate and ACT with Trump,Cruz and a few other outsiders like Carly Fiorina and Mike Lee who have exposed the political game – on both sides of the isle. And, it CAN bring results against political insider corruption , going against the party plan. The party Republicans have lost the last two elections with their guys, Romney and John McCain, but in the 1980s it was an outsider, like Trump, with the requisite personal money and and name recognition, one RONALD REAGAN, WHO won two terms despite the party, which did not initially support him.
Today, more than ever, the United States is approaching a ONE PARTY system, thanks to Obama, who continues to get away with murder with self-serving followers and media, who benefit directly or indirectly from Obama’s handouts, whether it be the growing number of poor thinking they’re really benefitting from all the favors or the well-heeled corporates and Hollywood wealthy raking in profits from Wall Street, propped up the past seven years by Obama’s zero interest rates ; the lower class seem to benefit in the short run (but not really in the long run) by the various increasing handouts, from food stamps to health care to welfare; meanwhile we’ve seen the middle class shrink with many ending up in that lower class. Sounds more and more like totalitarianism than capitalism with the small higher class proletariat and the large lower class bourgeoisie, with many of its victims still blind to the REAL picture that’s been happening. Meanwhile, Obama continues to bring in left-leaning refugees to help swell the Democrat voting ranks.
Whether Trump makes it all the way or not, what he has achieved already in exposing the corruption will carry forth to other outsider candidates for the future. Just look at how outsiders Trump and Cruz have skyrocketed form nowhere to the top of their party candidates. Other ‘outsider’ candidates such as Ted Cruz can thank Trump for helping to expose the faulty system, which has brought over independents and even some Democrats. To a lesser extent, Bernie Sanders has done the same thing as Trump for the Democrat party. Hopefully, we’ll see other Republicans , and perhaps Democrats learn from Trump, as long as they’re willing to forego their deep pocket alliances. After all, Sanders has done pretty well without major sponsors as has Cruz to a lesser extent.
No, Trump is far from a perfect candidate, but he should be given credit and even a chance at the Presidency. Sure, it would be a gamble with someone like him; but then, that’s what they said about Reagan, too, who had no real government experience before being elected President.
In a perfect world, outsiders like Trump and Cruz would band together to present what would appear to be an unbeatable ticket. Trump’s bombast and personal attacks might have already gone too far for Cruz to swallow and take a Vice President position on the ticket. But, if it were the only way for the Republicans to win, just maybe they would reconsideR.
Hopefully, voters can overlook the Trump bombast and see him and Cruz as the best two candidates running for President. Rather than being locked in, we should appreciate having one one but two outsiders as compared to the last two election losers. Once we all get behind one or both of these refreshing outsider candidates we can have VERY GOOD CHANCE of beating the very weak Democrat candidates Clinton and Sanders. So, if you’re against ‘government as usual’ including crony captialism, dirty tricks, executive actions, try to appreciate the sleeping giant that Trump has awoken. It has brought many new GOP voters and exposed the lies in the SYSTEM, which can only help the anti-‘government-as-is’ movement. No longer is supporting anti-establishment candidates considered so ‘kooky’ and terrible. We’re not supporting Trump – Cruz has many different qualities to offer , which is why he and Trump could make a great team, but Cruz may not have the votes or the unique media skills as Trump. Trump may be the last chance for saving this country from the one-party, socialist system it is becoming.
Much went through the mind since learning of Nancy Reagan’s passing.
I remember as a young man falling victim to the media’s attack on the First Lady at the time. I just accepted the innuendos and rumors that Reagan was a tough daughter-of-a-gun who had , perhaps ‘too much’ sway over the President.
Not until years later, with more scrutiny and maturity, did I realize
that Ms Reagan, in fact, was a big factor in the success of Reagan as President.
Keeping a happy relationship was important for any President to do his job and the Reagans
had one of the best marriages from all reports.
What may have helped that relationship, too, was the ‘second chance’
given Reagan after the near-fatal assasination attempt only a month after
Regan took office. It was noted by the head of the Reagan Library that Ms.
Reagan became even closer with her husband after that episode. It’s too bad
that , sometimes, it takes a serious incident like this, but this may have
given the Reagans an extra push towards, perhaps the most successful
presidential term in the past 50 years.
Though the Reagans were frequent targets of the media throughout
the eight year ‘reign,’there was never any scandal and the Reagans even
re-set the presidential image of the office, following the failing Carter
May it be a lesson to all of us to try to live our lives in a class
fashion. Regardless of political views, treat all with good cheer even if you
don’t agree. Laugh off what has become mean-spirited rhetoric today. We don’t
always get second chances like the Reagans- not that they wouldn’t have
gotten it right the first time,
The United States still hasn’t recovered from the Kennedy Assassination
50 years later and another such excecuion could have been completely disastrous.
Not only would we not have benefited as much from a ‘replacement’ President that
would follow over the next eight years but the replacement would likely
had difficulty living up to Reagan Legacy (Reagan being regarded as certainly
one of the two or three top Presidents of the past 50 years) that came only
inches away from never happening.
The Definitive Guide on Achieving Your Goals BY WILL YOU LAUGH
SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 BUSINESS INSPIRATION MISCELLANEOUS SUCCESS WEALTH 5
I have read over a hundred business books and watched over tens of thousands of videos from the most successful people in the world (interviews, speeches, compilations, etc.). I have listened to hundreds of podcasts episodes interviewing top performing millionaires. You tend to pick up on some common themes after going through so many. I decided to create a minimalist outline of only the core, most important things I have found that can increase your chances of achieving success and wealth. It ended up being longer than I thought. I went into a little detail to give you a couple real life examples to show you I actually know what I am talking about.
Meditate (get up to at least 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night)
This can help with your:
How calm you are
Ability to separate from distractions around you and operate out of stillness (LL Cool J to Biggie Smalls to Jay Z had this)
Some argue a similar effect can be had with prayer or something that really gets you in your zone like quiet time jogging. I think there are certain aspects of meditation that cannot be replicated with other things and if they are, they are essentially doing a version of meditation. Meditation acts a tool to help your mind. It is as necessary to your mind as an oil change is to a car.
Even for the lowliest of positions or occupations you have to take (unpaid intern or janitor)
““If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” -MLK
Form good habits
The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken
The younger you form them the better. The older you get, the harder it is to form and break habits.
Have a Positive mental attitude
Thinking negatively or dwelling on negative things is bad for your happiness and success
Golden rule. Do unto others as you would them do until you.
Be NICE to people. Be friendly. Be positive. Having a pleasing personality is huge.
Give value to others freely and without expecting anything in return (short term or long term)
Give your music, give your craft, give your services, give your time, give your energy, etc. In time, the more competent you get at something, it will come back to you in one way or other, whether it is growing buzz about you or through connections.
As a caveat, if you are a spineless nice guy-type, this may not work for relationships or dating. Read No More Mr. Nice Guy if you are. You may be the type who cannot feel comfortable unless you do and give so much for others to please others. That’s a different issue and should be avoided
Surround yourself with people better than you at what you want to accomplish
If you want to be smarter, surround yourself with smarter people. If you want to be richer, surround yourself with rich people. The opposite holds true. People worse than you will drag you down to their average with time as you hang around them.
“You are the average of the 5 people you hang around most”
As a caveat, I have realized that people have different strengths and weaknesses (pros and cons). No one is perfect. What do you do if you have a friend who is great at making money but is a negative downer or has no social skills or social life? Ideally, you would want to find someone who is at least average in the other areas or is not bringing you down in other areas. If not, you want to hang around them only for events and situations where mainly their strengths shine. For instance, hang around people who are very good at being social for social events.
Set goals. Write them down multiple times a day to remind yourself
Napoleon Hill says your purpose should be as definitive as possible. Sometimes, I feel you can’t have everything figured out and your purpose or career in life may not be crystal clear. However, you can still make your goal clear. For instance, my goal can be to test things out and find out what industry and career path if I don’t know what that is yet.
Find and do work you enjoy and are passionate about
Ideally, you want to get to the point you are excited and jump out of bed to go do the work. There will be tough days for any job though.
You want to consider how competent you are at this work or skill. If your potential for competence will never be there than this may not be what your calling is.
I suggest listing out things you like and dislike about careers you test out to move towards things.
Look for the alignment between something you enjoy, something you have the potential to be very competent at, and something that can pay you (to accomplish this last point and really squeeze the juice out of this, you may have to be very creative and/or very entrepreneurial)
It makes it a lot easier to not give up because you enjoy it so much. You will keep going when others quit when times get tough.
Do not fear failure or rejection. Don’t be so paralyzed you don’t act. Don’t fall into inaction by comfort.
Many types of failure have very small bad consequences. We blow it out of proportion. Failure is often times useful and necessary to get to where you want to go. They are learning experiences to guide you. Many successful people have failed many times whether it was in business ventures, ideas, products, or computer programs.
“If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.”
One of the greatest problems is comfort of the mediocre. It is not so bad that it prompts you to take action and so you sit there doing nothing.
Take action in life.
Some people know what to do but don’t take action. Some people accomplish nothing by never taking action on what they’re told. They believe they have but they’re not.
READ. A LOT. ESPECIALLY NONFICTION.
If you’re not a big reader. Babystep it. Start with 1 page a day. Take your time. Like lifting weights, it is about consistency. I also suggest audiobooks.
Check out my reading list. I suggest reading books by people you want to be like. There are hundreds of books by billionaires and tens of thousands by millionaires on how they got to where they got to in life. Read biographies.
Self-control. Having restraint. Not indulging in excess.
Do more than you are paid for. Do more than you are assigned to do. ALWAYS OVERDELIVER. This is huge.
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates say this is the number one thing. Focus on your craft and perfecting your skill is key. Warren and Bill focused intensely on computer programming and investing/accounting for years, which is what they say got them to where they are.
You don’t have to do it all alone. Work with a team. Partner with people. BUT ABSOLUTELY make sure that these people are honest, ethical, trustworthy, and people you get along with.
Ideally, you want to have some past history with them. This is absolutely key. You will get screwed over if they don’t have these qualities. There are many stories I know of partnership failures and so forth.
Spend less than you make.
Simple but more important. The more you save the better.
Take care of your body. You only get one.
Nutrition – eat healthy foods. This is fuel for your body. There’s plenty of advice online
Sleep – get as much as you need. I don’t use an alarm clock anymore.
Stress – eliminate as much as you can. This is partially mindset too. I am striving for a personality that cannot be stressed out or knocked. This is how some of the longest living people are like.
Exercise – I try to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic/cardio workout every day. This is key and this is what everyone needs to get to at the very least.
Go to bed at least a little better every day than you woke up.
I do this in a couple key areas: Wiser (more knowledge), healthier (exercise/nutrition/etc.), and Richer (more money)
Billionaire Charlie Munger has said you do this for being wiser. Kevin O’Leary has said you do this for more money. These things are KEY. What you will find is that if you have the fortune of living to an old age, these things grow. Every small piece of knowledge grows to something huge overtime.
Work and practice on your craft every day for hours. WORK ETHIC IS HUGE. If you can outwork your competition you are ahead. If you’re working while they’re sleeping or partying, you will get ahead in the long run even if you’re equally talented.
Help Others Succeed
The more you help other people be successful, the more successful you will be
Never Give Up
A lot of people give up when times get tough. As Steve Jobs said in the one interview he had with Bill Gates, if you love doing something so much, you will keep going even though everyone else has quit because it is logically insane to keep going. And that’s when the breakthroughs happen.
Be present with people, your environment, and your work
Give people your full attention. Don’t be thinking about the future, other things, or the past while you are with people. Be fully ENGAGED. Meditation helps with this.
Be friendly, nice, and over-deliver. Establish good relationships with people.
This will bring customer loyalty, which will bring people back, referrals, and more.
Have a sense of humor, don’t take yourself too seriously and find some way to laugh everyday
This can be done in multiple ways: surround yourself with one or more people who make you laugh a lot OR watch a lot of stand-up comedy.
This has proven to help with your health, your healing of illnesses, your longevity and your happiness. There’s science behind this.
Some people take failures or bad events way too seriously and it affects them too negatively.
Wake up early and get things done before people even wake up and start their day.
A lot of successful entrepreneurs have this routine. Most wake up quite early. (Not all of them depending on the industry. Some have to work at night)
Start the day with working on your #1 priority
Use the 4 quadrants technique: Organize things into these 4 categories and do it with this priority queue: urgent and important, important but not urgent, not important but urgent, and not urgent and not important. The last two can be skipped.
Realize that the mind is a very changeable thing and you can change it for the better over time. Realize that the traits you admire in someone you can acquire for yourself. The things you respect in someone whether it is their hard work or trustworthiness or friendliness can be acquired for yourself.
Learning about other people’s lives can help a lot with this. There are plenty of books out there of real life stories of people who have been born in the country you are with less opportunity who have gone on to do bigger things. A good one is The Glass Castle.
Turn your weaknesses or differences into strengths
I’ve seen this quite a few times from Arnold Schwarzenegger getting rejected for acting because of his accent and enormous physique to hip hop artists being rejected because hip hop was a new thing that was thought to be a fad and wouldn’t last long.
Find mentors or people to model success after. Pick people who have already gotten there. Make sure you pick well. Honesty and ethics are a must in my opinion. This is VERY Important. I cannot tell you how many successful people, including billionaires, stress the importance of a mentor.
Eliminate limiting beliefs.
We all have a number of assumptions or beliefs that are oftentimes not true in reality or in certain situations. Find them, eliminate them, and you stop them from holding you back. One way of finding things is by starting from the bottom and figuring out what you know absolutely is true and what you think may be true but might not.
Extra BONUS Entrepreneur Material:
Helpful Life Advice:
Realize that you control how you react to situations. You may not be able to control the stimuli or the environment but you can control your reaction to things.
Top Advice specific for Business:
Make sure the product or service is really good. Always keep trying to make it better. You can do marketing but if your product sucks or is not good enough, customers will not stick.
Billionaires Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, John Paul De Joria, and Jeff Bezos have said something similar.
As a caveat, don’t be so honed in on perfection that you are paralyzed and never release anything. Sometimes, your first thing is crap but you release it to get things going.
The customer is priority. Customers are #1. Do as much to give to your customer what they want as you can. Develop the best product or service the customer could want as possible
Customer service is very important.
Customers can sense if you really want to help them or are just after their money
Employees are #2, and technically are also, #1. This is because how you treat your employees will reflect directly on how they treat their customers. I cannot stress how many times this has been mentioned by successful entrepreneurs. Notable people who have mentioned this include the billionaire Sam Walton and Lee Cockerell of Creating Magic.
Find the right Business Partner. Take your time to really get to know this person. Ideally, spend years. This must be someone you can trust, fully understand, and is honest.
You want your partner to ideally cover your shortcomings. If you are into business, he must be into something else like sales.
I cannot stress how important this is. There are SO many entrepreneurs who have said this and embody this. There are so many successful businesses, some of them very recent, who emphasize this. This is because a business partnership is the core element of the business and if the partner leaves, betrays you, or takes the money and leaves, that could mean the end of the business. It is often not as easy as replacing the partner. This happens quite often.
It is not a requirement that you know your partner for years and be best friends, but it is better so that you can really get a good sense of who they are. Also, this does NOT mean you partner with someone just because they are your best friend. Business is tough and has ended many friendships.
There are dozens of examples of successful people who embody this. The following are pairs of billionaires who knew eachother for years: Paul Allen and Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Woz, Rich Devos and his best friend grew up together and fought in WW2.
I have a feeling I will be adding to this outline over the years. more
Watching movies is a classic American pastime, and it’s certainly one I enjoy. Seeing a movie is a chance to experience the “what ifs” of life. In the case of biographical films, it is an opportunity to vicariously relive events as they might have happened — a front-row seat in history. A good movie stirs our emotions, transports us to another time and place, and widens our perspective.
Of course, movies require an investment of our precious moments, so I always appreciate when one comes recommended by someone whose opinion I respect. My favorite movies are those that fill me with hope and enrich my life in some way.
This is what each of the movies I recommend below have done for me. Truthfully, there are so many inspirational movies that it was hard to pick just this handful! From persevering through hardships to fighting for the underdogs to finding strength even in the most dire situations, these inspirational movies carry powerful messages.
In this 1962 movie based on the book of the same title, we find ourselves in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama (set in 1932), where a young black man is on trial for rape. Although falsely accused, a guilty verdict is practically assured from the all-white jury. Through the eyes of a small girl named Scout and her principled father, who defends the accused, the weighty issues of prejudice and injustice are laid out before us in thought-provoking detail. “You never know someone until you step inside their skin and walk around a little,” Scout’s dad tells her. These are words to live by.
This 1946 classic makes my heart smile every single time I watch it! On the verge of losing his business to the richest man in town, family man George Bailey thinks about ending it all, figuring everyone he loves would be better off without him. As we discover in this fantastical heartwarming look at what-ifs, George couldn’t have been more wrong! In the movie, Bailey says, “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” These words have great meaning to me in my life’s work and service to others.
From Paris to Germany and from Spain to India, post-World War I American Larry Darrel goes on an engaging search for answers to his questions about humanity, God, and the meaning of life, leaving behind all of the social norms of the time. This is a search many of us can relate to. In the movie, Larry says, “If I ever acquire wisdom, I suppose I’ll be wise enough to know what to do with it.” There’s wisdom in these words! There was a remake of this film, but my preference is the 1946 version.
When I talk about inspirational reading, I always make it a point to recommend books by or about the masters, saints, and mystics themselves. This 1982 movie fits right in with such recommendations, because here we can really visualize and feel what it must have been like for Gandhi during the 50 years of his life leading up to his assassination. We watch him transform from a straight-laced attorney whose eyes are suddenly opened to prejudice and injustice who will eventually become known to the world as a motivator of peaceful action.
This 1993 comedy is such a feel-good, whimsical look at what would happen if we were forced to relive one day over and over again. What would we do differently? What would we learn from the experience? Phil Connors — a weatherman who is self-centered and arrogant — finds himself in this very situation in the midst of a snowstorm. Watching his growth throughout the movie is a beautiful lesson in our own process of self-reflection and creating the experiences we want in life.
“Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” This Talmud quote, which makes an appearance in this 1993 biographical film, beautifully illustrates the profound meaning behind the actions of German businessman Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than 1,000 of his Jewish employees during the Holocaust. This drama speaks to how deep compassion can be stirred in any man’s soul when he allows himself to see and act against the cruelty and injustice in the world.
7. Forrest Gump
The life of fictional character Forrest Gump takes us on a topsy-turvy trip through the ups and downs of the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. While Forrest comes across as a very simple character, he proves to be a multidimensional man with life lessons galore to share with us throughout this masterful 1994 film. In the movie, he says, “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” To me, that’s about letting go of expectations and embracing whatever comes our way. That’s certainly what Forrest does — and brilliantly so!
Admittedly, I am a football fan, so a feel-good movie with this all-American sport as its backdrop satisfies me on many levels! Partially based on a true story, a semi-homeless teenager, Michael Oher, finds a loving, supportive home with an upper-class family. Living in this new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges. And as the family helps Michael fulfill his potential, both on and off the football field, his presence in their lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries. This 2009 movie crosses racial barriers and brings you straight to the heart. It beautifully captures the essence of unity, togetherness, and family.
Inspired by a true story, this 2006 film speaks to us of overcoming hardships, the rewards of determination, the unbreakable bond between father and son, and doing whatever is necessary to provide for one’s self and children. The story of Chris Gardner and his small son teaches us through dramatic illustration that material things are not what are important in life. We can share great happiness when we are really there for each other, despite the fact that we may have little in the way of worldly goods.
10. A Beautiful Mind
Winner of numerous awards in 2002, this excellent portrayal of the true life of John Nash, a genius mathematician, gives us an up-close look at the inner and outer struggle one faces when confronted by a mind-alerting disease such as schizophrenia. The clinical aspects are secondary to the courage, love, and determination displayed by each of the characters, and especially Nash, who eventually becomes an honored member of the Princeton community. Nash’s perseverance teaches us that there are beautiful rewards in life when we don’t give up.
Yes, this 1988 animated film has made my list! Animation brings “life” to the otherwise impossible. How else would we be able to follow Littlefoot, an orphaned dinosaur, and his four young companions as they figure out life in their struggle for survival? This is truly a life-changing, heart-beating, feel-good movie. It examines issues of grief, prejudice, guidance from above, overcoming hardships, and the importance of sticking together — especially when times (and the terrain!) are rough.
12. To Sir With Love
I first saw this 1967 movie as a young girl, and it had such a profound effect on me. Since I was always by the book in school, the teenage students’ defiance of authority portrayed in this movie really shocked me! But what made me feel good about it was how they and their reluctant teacher eventually developed a beautiful and meaningful relationship — one of mutual respect and admiration.
13. The Green Mile
This thought-provoking 1999 film is set in the 1930s and follows the story of a death row corrections officer and an encounter with a seemingly innocent man sentenced to death for the murder of two children. Through a series of miraculous events that are sure to touch your soul — they did mine — this movie reveals that there is often much more than meets the eye. We just need to be able to recognize the miracles beneath the surface.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world,” says John Keating in this 1989 film about an English teacher who has a profound impact on a group of students through the study of poetry. And I agree! This movie drives home the importance of self-reliance, thinking for oneself, standing up for one’s beliefs, and of course seizing the day — lessons for life no matter who you are.
Years past, going to a movie theater was the only way we could experience these cinematic masterpieces. These days, we can watch movies from our very own couch. How grateful I am for our modern conveniences! So get comfortable, relax, and hit play to be transported to a thought-provoking world that will leave you with a good feeling and warm your heart.
Please share with me some of your favorite inspirational movies for my “to-watch” list. What films touch you deeply?