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Presenting the NATO of CA/NV 2017 Scholarship Winners...

It is truly astonishing how many movies are made. Working at a movie theater has made me realize that because at least one or two movies are released every single week. There are thousands upon thousands of movies to pick from, so deciding what movie everyone should see is certainly a tall order. Many can be eliminated right off the bat, but with the volume of movies in the world, there is still a significant number of absolutely great movies. Ultimately, the movie that everyone should watch is Into the Wild, this heartbreaking true story of Chris McCandless who gave up everything he had to travel across the country and into Alaska. Everyone should see this movie because it makes you rethink what is truly valuable and would probably make people less materialistic.

Chris McCandless graduated with honors from Emory University in 1990 and soon afterward donated his entire twenty-four thousand dollar savings account to charity and left to go on one of the greatest adventures of all time. He went from Georgia to California to South Dakota to Mexico and ultimately to Alaska. Even though he travelled by himself, he made great friends along the way. He kayaked down the Colorado River and worked for a harvesting company for a little while. No matter where he went, he made an impact on people’s lives and now his story is told through this movie. McCandless left everything and pursued a free life, which is what makes this movie so important.

Too many people are what their jobs are. They are teacher, doctors, accountants, managers, and cooks. People put their identity into what they do, when instead they should put it in the people they love. Just because I am studying to become an engineer does not mean I want to be an engineer. I want to be a mother, wife, daughter, and friend before being an engineer. That is the lesson I learned from watching this movie, and I know it would have the same impact on others as well. McCandless did not go on this crazy adventure just for himself. He made friends along the way that he kept in touch with and occasionally bumped into on the road. He lived with one man, Ron Franz, for two months, and at the end of their time together, Franz offered to adopt McCandless as his own grandson. People are what make life on Earth worthwhile, and that is something that people can always use a little reminder about. Not only does McCandless’ adventure demonstrate that lesson, it also shows how great nature is and how important spending time in it is.

Not everybody needs to give up everything and go live in nature for two years, but for how amazing the world is, people do not spend nearly enough time exploring it. Everything slows down in nature, and it opens up the opportunity for reflection and insight. If everybody watched Into the Wild, I know that most people would be inspired to see more of the world, and it would have a positive impact on their lives. There is so much variety in nature, and so much opportunity for great experiences. Chris McCandless saw more nature in his two year adventure than many people do in their entire lifetime. It is unfortunate that his adventure resulted in his death, but hopefully that would not scare people away from seeing the world.

Into the Wild is an incredibly important movie, and based off a real story. Everyone should watch this movie to make them think about their existence and the direction of their life. The takeaway from this movie is to not take life and work so seriously, because life happens outside work. No day is better spent than going on a nice hike with some good friends. It leads to great conversations and an even better friendship. Chris McCandless would want people to hear his story and feel inspired to explore just a little bit more.

 

 

 

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