Nostalgia can be an interesting thing. On one hand, it can just be a sweet way of reflecting back on things that have gone before. On the other, it can function as inspiration, reminding you of your purest dreams and encouraging you to go for them, no matter how old you are or where you are in your life.
Take, for example, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It’s a beloved classic, celebrating its 50th anniversary of bringing splendiferous joy, Wonka Bars and Everlasting Gobstoppers to generations of families this year. You could wear a Willy Wonka logo bangle just to remind yourself of a movie you’ve loved as long as you can remember. You could wear an “I Want It Now!” bangle to channel your inner Veruca Salt or a “Violet, You’re Turning Violet, Violet” bangle to empower your inner Violet Beauregarde.
But there are other, deeper ways to connect to this movie. The Oompa Loompas do more than just make chocolate — they impart important life lessons about respect for others and yourself, about self-care, about, well, not falling into rivers of chocolate. How many of us can say we heard their signature song as kids and internalized something from it, even if we didn’t realize it at the time?
And then there’s the Golden Ticket: the physical embodiment of the power of dreams. Millions of people all over the world were buying up cases upon cases of Wonka sweets to try to win their way into the factory. Charlie could only buy one. But through sheer luck and believing that good things would come to him, he was able to buy another — and that is the one that made all the difference. It may be a silly movie for kids. But you might want to sit down and give it another watch. The confidence to believe in even your most far-fetched dreams is something we should all carry through life. Because if you don’t believe it, how will you ever reach for it?