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January 7, 2016

5 Simple Lessons on Love from Good Will Hunting.

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Good Will Hunting is one of Robin Williams’ greatest films.

After Williams’ death in 2014, the bench he sat on with Matt Damon in the film became an icon with flowers and quotes written on the ground below it. On this bench in Boston’s Public Garden, Williams articulated words that brought about a significant turn in the movie.

Having watched the film a number of times, I’ve come to realize its intensity and importance.

Its messages and lessons are unquestionably abundant. Nevertheless, it highlights a crucial idea that exists in everybody’s life: the idea of love.

As I watched Good Will Hunting, I realized that there is a Sean (Robin Williams) and a Will (Matt Damon) in every one of us.

Sean, Will’s psychologist, is a giver who holds tremendous love for his wife, who passed away. Will, on the other hand, loves a girl named Skylar, but has built a wall to protect himself from getting hurt.

While forming a unique relationship, Sean and Will open our eyes to these remarkable lessons on love:

1. Love is worth it.

“Sean: I was in a bar havin’ a drink with my future wife.

Will: You missed Pudge Fisk’s home run?

Sean: Oh, yeah.

Will: To have a fuckin’ drink with some lady you never met?

Sean: Yeah, but you shoulda seen her; she was a stunner.

Will: You’re kiddin’ me.

Sean: No, I’m not kiddin’ you, Will. That’s why I’m not talkin’ right now about some girl I saw at a bar 20 years ago and how I always regretted not going over and talking to her. I don’t regret the 18 years I was married to Nancy. I don’t regret the six years I had to give up counseling when she got sick. And I don’t regret the last years when she got really sick. And I sure as hell don’t regret missin’ the damn game.”

Will didn’t understand how Sean could miss the historic sixth game of the 1975 World Series for a woman. But Sean didn’t regret it. He believed love is worth it all. It doesn’t come around often, but when it does, we should grab it with both hands and never let it go.

To love is to have no regrets. No matter what we give up along the way, love is strong enough to replace any missed opportunity.

 

2. Love is being perfect for each other.

“Sean: You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.”

Nobody’s perfect. Sadly, seldom do we understand that we can’t reach perfection.

However, two imperfect people who love each other can still be perfect together. It’s less about love and more about the person we are with and how well we fit together.

 

3. Love is loving the other more than we love ourselves.

“Sean: I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.”

This is my favorite line in the whole movie. Sean beautifully describes what it feels like to love, but also affirms that love needs courage, as few dare to love to this extent.

Love is being with the other person through good and bad. It is being courageously vulnerable and grateful for the angel who was sent only for you.

 

4. Fear pushes love away.

“Sean: [about Will] He pushes people away before they get a chance to leave him. It’s a defense mechanism. And for 20 years he’s been alone because of that. And if you push him right now, it’s gonna be the same thing all over again and I’m not gonna let that happen to him.”

How many of us are a Will on the inside? How many people have we pushed away because we fear getting hurt? We’d rather quit before we are fired.

To love means to break down the walls of fear and protection we have built. As long as they’re present, love will never penetrate our soul.

 

5. Love is looking at imperfections with a passionate heart.

“Sean: My wife used to fart when she was nervous. She had all sorts of wonderful little idiosyncrasies. She used to fart in her sleep. I thought I’d share that with you. One night it was so loud it woke the dog up. She woke up and said, “Was that you?” I said “Yeah”, I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

Will: [laughing] So she woke herself up?

Sean: [laughing] But Will, she’s been dead for two years, and that’s the stuff I remember: wonderful stuff you know? Little things like that. Those are the things I miss the most. The little idiosyncrasies that only I know about: that’s what made her my wife. Oh, she had the goods on me too, she knew all my little peccadilloes. People call these things imperfections, but they’re not. Ah, that’s the good stuff.”

We all have our peculiar habits or faults that are prone to disturb the person we are with. However, these are the very little things that create love.

Love is recognizing the other person’s quirks and loving them still. Becoming an open book and accepting whatever comes along, is what turns love into an unbreakable chain.

I consider Good Will Hunting a must-watch movie. It teaches us vulnerability, courage and love. Through the characters, we are forced to consider the shields we hide behind.

To remain a “Will” means we end up losing people we love. It’s time to become a “Sean” because love is tremendously beautiful.

 

Relephant read:

Love Lessons from a Romantic Grandfather. 

 

Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: Screenshot

 

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