The Ultimate Gift (2006)

rating: 3.5/5


I sneaked into my sister’s DVD collection and played this movie. And it’s good. it’s really good.

“Life is how you live it… not how you spend it.”

You probably know the saying that all men die, not all men really live. and I really think that it’s true.

The synopsis on the back of the DVD cover says,

“Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard “Red” Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm-fuzzies, just cold, hard cash. So, he figured that when Red died, the whole “reading of the will thing” would be another simple cash transaction. He assumed that his Grandfather’s money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed.

But what Red left him was anything but simple. Instead, Red devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life: 12 tasks, 12 “gifts”, each challenging Jason in an improbable, impossible way…and changing him forever.”

Based on the best-selling novel by the author Jim Stovall, I have been blown away by the ‘gifts’ that this movie teaches me. (It took me the entire movie to finish ironing my laundry. lol). the message is simple, and I believe that most of us know these ‘gifts’, we just forgot how important they are.

**spoiler

Just in case you wonder what the gifts are, I will make a rough summary about the 12 gifts that’s been told in the movie

gift #1: the gift of work

“If you do any work like you just did, you can do anything.”
This gift tells us that nothing comes in instant, we need hard work to earn them.

gift #2: the gift of money

This gift tells us what money can do, and can’t do. Money can’t buy happiness, nor love, nor any other stuffs. This gift tells us that money is important, but it’s not everything. Use your money wisely.

gift #3: The gift of friends

People come, people go, but some will stay, even through the worst days of your lives. Many people are there beside us when we go through great things. But the ones who will still be there when we have problems – that is true friendship. cherish them.

gift #4: the gift of learning

“Do you really know how to learn?”
Sometimes we just know how to memorize stuffs, but rarely we go deep into the learning itself. Learning is a process. it’s not defined by the scores you get on those white A4 papers but learning is a part of your life.

I bet you all know who Michaelangelo. He is a great artist way back then, and in his last self-portrait, he carved these words, “I’m still learning.” A person who will go to his deathbed soon is still learning. we should as well.

gift #5: the gift of problems

I believe our true characters are revealed not when we are on the peak of our lives, but when we have problems, when we are desperate, when we feel like we can’t do anything. Take Job for example. He lost all his wealth, all his children, his wife sulked at him, and even his friends questioned if he has sinned to God. But Job’s true character is revealed. and you know the rest of the story.

gift #6: the gift of family

Sometimes, your real family is not a ‘family’. Sometimes those who are closest to you are your family. Nevertheless, this gift shows the importance of having a family – the people that we love, who love us back, who receive us for whoever we are, and always be there for us.

gift #7: the gift of laughter

“Laughter is the best medicine!” You know, never underestimate the power of laughter. It doesn’t only reflects the joy in your heart, it also shares that joy to other people. Laughter reflects happiness. Happiness is… priceless =)

gift #8: the gift of dreams

“You need to be free, free to dream. You need to come up with a dream and act on it.”
“And honestly I don’t know if I have my own dream, but I do know I can help others fulfill theirs.”

Like Randy Pausch said, sometimes fulfilling others’ dreams is a dream comes true for ourselves.

gift #9: the gift of giving

Once in a while, think about others, about their needs. Think about giving. Do not always focus on ourselves. give.

gift #10: the gift of gratitude

Have someone done something really meaningful to you? Say thank you. Those two simple words, are sometimes the best way to express our gratitude. Try to be thankful for our lives. Try not to say “why” on circumstances, try to say, “thank you.”

gift #11: the gift of a day

One more day. We have lived for one more day. And sometimes we just forgot, that it’s a gift! it’s always a perfect day, if you think it is. Cherish your every day, live like it is your last.

gift #12: the gift of love

I know most of you will have guessed this, the ultimate gift of all is the gift of love. And yes, love is all where it starts. Because God loves us dearly, He chose to save us. Because a father loves his family, he is willing to work hard to provide their needs. For a mother loves her children, she is willing to sacrifice her wants. and because of love, one Man is willing to die for all of us.

One movie says that, “Love is the closest thing we have to magic.” I think it’s wrong. Love is the magic itself.

So now you know your 12 gifts, but I highly encourage you to watch this movie. it’s a good one =)

Have a lovely day!

“You can teach someone what character is. You can tell them “do this! Do that” but at some point, the gifts need input, intuition, dreams. One needs to be the freedom to dream, then act on it. Even if you don’t have a dream of your own, you can give dreams to others-help them to fulfill their dreams!”
Red Stevens

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