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

“The Ultimate Gift”

Everyone in the world loves gifts. There is just something magical about not knowing or wondering if it will be something you love. If I chose one movie for everyone in the world to see, it would be, “The Ultimate Gift”. In this movie, the main character Jason, a spoiled man who lives off of his parents’ wealth, is granted a series of gifts from his grandfather’s will, that ultimately change his life for the better. He assumes the “ultimate gift” will be one of great worth — money, but subsequently receives something of greater value. Jason, through the movie, is offered the gifts of work, money, love, friends, laughter, giving, family, problems, learning, dreams, gratitude, and a day. He receives the gifts one at a time as he completes each given assignment. The combination of all these gifts makes up the ultimate gift — his new life.      

The first reason I chose this movie is that it caused me to reflect on the values most important in life. My family has been a key factor in making my life more meaningful. I was born with Bladder Exstrophy, a rare birth defect. I have endured fourteen surgeries to make my life as “normal” as possible. Throughout this trial I have relied on my family. This brought to my mind the gift of family, one of Jason’s grandfather’s gifts. In the movie Jason’s family is very wealthy and spends a lot of time arguing and comparing their different amounts of money. Jason’s challenge was to spend time with them and realize the importance of family. In fact, a main theme of the movie is mending and making relationships.

Another reason I chose this movie is it shows the value of hard work, money and gratitude. Jason learns money is a privilege, and something you have to earn. After receiving the challenge for this gift, Jason wakes up to discover all of his money, credit cards, clothing, house and car taken away. He becomes homeless. The gift of money is portrayed well in the movie. It caused me to consider what I would do if I lost everything and to be grateful for all I possess. To receive the gift of work, Jason is sent to work on his grandfather’s friend’s farm to build a fence. This was especially difficult for Jason considering he had never worked a day in his life. In the movie you can see his progress and increased efforts to accomplish his assignment each day. Later on, he uses the money he earned, for one of his true friends in need. This is an important lesson to learn; that everything comes from hard work.

To come up with one true friend is one more of Jason’s grandfather’s challenges. In the movie, Jason realizes he has no true friends. While homeless and sleeping on a park bench, Jason meets a little girl named Emily and her mother Alexia, who teach him the true meaning of friendship. Examining this movie led me to understand the importance of having at least one true friend and, even more so, how we need to be that friend to others. The gift of laughter was also something Jason had to learn. Before this opportunity, Jason thought life’s joy came from what his money could buy. To learn what caused him true joy in life, he genuinely had to search. This inspired me to examine what brings me joy. Furthermore, I believe it is important for others to learn how Jason finds his joy and apply it in their own lives.

My favorite gift that Jason receives is the gift of a day. One of Jason’s true friends was plagued with cancer. Through this trial, Jason recognized most people suffer greater pain than he had ever experienced. He also realizes life can end in a blink of an eye. This led me to ponder on what I would do with my last day on earth. What mark would I leave on the world? By the end of the movie, Jason learns the need for forgiveness and the importance of serving others.

“The Ultimate Gift” is a must see because it causes everyone watching, to consider who their true friends are, contemplate their family relationships, and conclude whether they are grateful for what they have or if they take things for granted. Numerous questions are brought up as Jason experiences a true change of heart, inspiring everyone watching, to change their lives for the better and to make every day a “true gift”.

 

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