For our TREDONE (Humanity’s Search for Life) Course, we watched different films and documentaries that allowed us to think deeper and eventually get something out of those films. The Ultimate Gift was one of those. I never knew this film before. We were tasked to make a reflection paper for this. And here it is!
The Ultimate Gift, a movie based on a bestselling novel by Jim Stovall, tackles about the transformation of a happy-go-lucky and an egocentric person, Jason Stevens to a whole new person whom he did not imagine he would possibly be. With his grandfather’s death, Howard “Red” Stevens, marked the start of the journey to find the mysterious and peculiar “ultimate gift”. He was guided by the family attorney, Mr. Hamilton, along with his secretary, Miss Hastings, with his expedition, an expedition that changed him and his views in life forever (“The ultimate gift,” ).
The personal transformation of Jason Stevens has been highlighted in the film through the different gifts he received. These were the gifts he received along his journey namely The Gift of Work, The Gift of Money, The Gift of Friends, The Gift of Learning, The Gift of Problems, The Gift of Family, The Gift of Laughter, The Gift of Dreams, The Gift of Giving, The Gift of Gratitude, The Gift of a Day, and The Gift of Love. The Gift of Work, tackles about the importance of committing and excellently doing a job. He was tasked to go to a ranch in Texas where his grandfather’s friend, Gus, lives. He was asked to wake up at five o’clock in the morning for breakfast but he did not follow Gus’ instructions and so he was given a different “wake-up call”. After having their breakfast, Gus immediately dropped Jason to a place where he should put up the fence posts. After a long time, Jason finished putting up the fence posts and he then realized the value of work, the value of following the boss’ commands and the value of making an effort and commitment to do a job which his grandfather wanted him to learn (The ultimate gift, 2007). The message of this gift to me, as a student, is that I should exert an effort and commit that I will do my best in everything that is given to me regardless of the course and how easy or hard is it for I know it will all be worth it in the end. The Gifts of Money and Friends are somewhat related to each other. As with the plan of his grandfather, his money and credit cards, his car, his apartment, all his belongings were confiscated. Since he don’t have money, he realized that he doesn’t have a friend, even a single one. Along with that, he was tasked to find a true friend who does not consider his wealth but his self, his true self. While he was in the park, he met a girl named Emily who became his friend. After a while, he discovered that his true friend is suffering from leukemia and her mother, Alexia, is experiencing financial instability. And so, he raised money in the streets such as doing illegal acts just to raise money and he also gave his paycheck to them (The ultimate gift, 2007). The message of the gift of money to me made me realize that all the things I have now is not permanent, we’re uncertain if we will still have those things tomorrow, the next day or maybe next time. Just like what Jason did, we should our brothers and sisters who are in need like the victims of Typhoon Ondoy and Sendong. On the other hand, the gift of friends let me realized that I don’t need a million friends to be happy and to enjoy life what I need is a true friend who will accept me who I was, who I am and who will I be and who will teach me the real lessons of life. Those were some of the gifts Jason received along his journey.
“Any process you are going through will get tougher before it gets easier. That’s what make learning a gift. Even though pain is your teacher.” – Red Stevens (“The ultimate gift,” ). This quote depicts that whatever problems, trials, and hardships we are experiencing now, they will all be worth it in the end for we gained something from that situation and we will be able to use it in the next chapters of our lives. Experiencing pain makes us better, a stronger, tougher, brighter, and wiser individual. As with the journey of Jason Stevens, the ultimate gift he received was the total change within himself with the help and guidance of other people.
“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 (“The ultimate gift,” ). This quote depicts that even though the person teaches his young what is right or not, he should let the young have the freedom to dream and let him explore what he wants. As with the film, Jason Stevens does not have a dream but he made a dream of his true friend, Emily, come true through the hospital project. In simple ways, we can also help other people to fulfill their dreams. Just like what we do in our NSTP-CWTS (National Service Training Program-Civil Welfare Training Service) through our home-based tutorial we are able to share the knowledge we acquired to them and somehow inspire them to fulfill their dreams.
At first it was hard and tough for him, working in a ranch, having no money to spend for all his luxuries in life and the like; but in the end, he became the person he never imagined he would be, a Jason Stevens with a heart. Just like him, we can still change for the better. Do something for we still have the time to make things right.
The ultimate gift. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.theultimategift.com/
The ultimate gift faith discussion guide. (2007). FoxFaith. Retrieved from http://www.theultimategift.com/public/docs/TheUltimateGift-FaithDiscussionGuide.pdf
The ultimate gift (2006) - memorable quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482629/quotes