The Golden Ticket

The keys to the universe lie within a simple chocolate bar!  I realize that this revelation may alter the course of accepted western philosophy, but I am compelled to share my epiphany with the world.  I can only hope that I do not shake the foundations of multiple time-honored universal belief systems.

The early years of my life were profoundly influenced by the cinema.  In an attempt to escape the awkwardness of adolescence, I retreated to the alluring make-believe world created by the Hollywood studios.  I drove my parents crazy, repeatedly reciting the lyrics of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; all of the words hopelessly off-key!  I aspired to a career as a chimney sweep and demanded that my friends jump into chalk drawings with me.  However, it was Willy Wonka that became the enduring hallmark of my childhood!

As we all know, Willy wished to leave the high pressure world of the confectionary CEO.  He decided that only a child could run his enterprise in the way he desired.  Mr. Wonka set-up a lottery system by which five children were “randomly selected” to compete for the honor of steering the Wonka Chocolate corporate juggernaut.

Over the remaining course of the movie, Willy puts the five finalists through a series of tests; all designed to reveal inherent character flaws.  In his own naive manner, Charlie manages to pass each test.  It is not so much that his character is that well-formed, as it is that Charlie possesses an innocence and joy that can only be found in untainted youth.

The story comes to a close as Willy accuses Charlie of having violated the terms of the test.  Charlie admits that he indeed broke one of the rules.  We have the classic cinematic showdown and Mr. Wonka explains to Charlie that he has passed the test.  As a reward, Charlie is granted the keys to the chocolate factory.  The rest is sweet tooth history,

How many of us pass our days looking for that elusive golden ticket?  Do we unwrap the chocolate bars that life gives us, only to be disappointed by the lack of an opportunity to somehow magically change our lives?  Many of us do not even bother to taste the chocolate bar, throwing it aside as just another loser.  The desire to get the golden ticket obscures the fact that chocolate was meant to be tasted, meant to be enjoyed.

Our lives are filled with a vast variety of chocolate bars.  Sometimes they are simple squares of sweetened cocoa; other times we find nougat in the middle or nuts tucked away inside, like treasure chests waiting to be opened.  Then there are a multitude of chocolate varieties; dark, bittersweet, milk, and white to name a few!  Some chocolate bars are crisp and fresh, while others have started to melt away or turn white and flakey with age.

Do you take the time to enjoy the chocolate?  Do you crunch slowly on the nuts or nougat?  Do you swirl the confection around in your mouth, taking in the complexity of all the carefully blended flavors?  Are you in such a rush to move onto the next chocolate bar that you cannot even remember the nuances of the candy you just ate?

Going back to the story of Willy Wonka, all of us are looking for that golden ticket.  We believe steadfastly that there is an event or a situation or a person that will alter the course of our current lives.  This entity or occurrence will do away with all that is wrong in our existence.  Our every wish will come true and all we have to do is be lucky enough to find the golden piece of foiled paper.

To discover whether or not we have won, we have to unwrap many candy bars.  Due to our blind obsession, we forget about the chocolate altogether.  The candy becomes secondary to our quest.  Most do not realize that the chocolate itself is the reward.  The candy bar is another event, situation, or person in our life.

The majority of the time it will not come enveloped in a golden ticket, but it is an opportunity to grow.  Take the time to draw in its aroma, taste the ingredients that have been blended together, relish the nuts or nougat that came with it.  If you are not careful, you may discover that the chocolate is more satisfying than the promise of the golden ticket.  In short, reaching the destination is not as important as enjoying the journey.

Just before the credits begin to roll in my favorite childhood movie, Charlie finds himself on the “Wonkavator.”  Willie Wonka asks, “Charlie, did you hear the one about the man who suddenly got everything he ever asked for?”  Charlie shakes his head, indicating a no answer.  “He lived happily ever after!” Mr. Wonka exclaims.  So, care to join me in the chocolate factory?

About Jerry V. Dollar, Author, Humorist, Observer of the Human Condition

When not trekking around the globe, Jerry Dollar can be found in Colorado Springs, CO where he lives with his wife Robbi. Besides an affinity for writing and travel; he is also an avid bodybuilder, a very prolific reader, and an enthusiastic observer of the human condition. Jerry has published two books which are available on: Lulu, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and IBook. "Announcing a Flight Delay" is a hilarious recap of the author's experiences as a million mile flyer. "A Dollar's Worth" is a collection of observations on the human condition, which originally appeared as blog posts. Dr. Dollar has served in various senior executive management capacities over the past 25 years. He has previously worked within the healthcare, insurance, software, and several other high technology industries. Jerry is recognized for his expertise in creating the foundations for emerging organizations to succeed in complex sales environments. He is also well known for his leadership in guiding technology companies through rapid growth phases. Jerry speaks five languages and has conducted business in over 70 countries on six continents. He holds particular expertise in the Latin American and Western European geographic areas. Dr. Dollar holds a BA in International Affairs, a BA in Spanish, an MBA in Marketing, and a PhD in Organizational Development. He has authored numerous professional articles, various training courses, and has conducted seminars and conferences around the world.
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19 Responses to The Golden Ticket

  1. jpbauer says:

    Thank you for the enjoyable story of Charlie and the importance of being in the moment and living life to the fullest. Keep up the great and positive work!

    • Dear JP,

      Thanks for your kind words and for sahring of yourself. It has taken me just over a half century of life to realize that “positive” is the only way I truly know how to be! We all have more chocolate waiting for us than we can possibly eat. Unfortunately, most of us starve our souls while searching for the elusive golden ticket! I salute you and hope that each of us can find the “Charlie” within us!

      Take good care!


  2. says:

    I like the metaphor and LOVE chocolate.

  3. Excellent post, Jerry. I read it as I let a lovely piece of dark chocolate melt in my mouth, savoring the blend of flavors, the slightly smoky overtones, the silky “mouthfeel”. Thanks for the reminder to “take time to taste the chocolate”

  4. I like this post and the idea of the life misspent hunting for the golden ticket. That resonates with me.
    I think that there is a corollary. There are those who get the opposite of a golden ticket. – a tragedy, a serious illness, divorce- awful things do happen. Perhaps we could call those the lead tickets

    As someone who has been dealing with a serious illness the last 12 years, I’ve found that it is helpful to focus on “the chocolate” rather than the lead ticket I was dealt.

    Not to diminish the need for grieving or the profound effect of real pain, but if we only focus on our luck, good or bad, we miss out on simply appreciating what is. The people who have helped me the most have been those that have not allowed me to wallow, bit instead have helped me to engage in life.

  5. Rich says:

    Great story and analogy. I have gone from chocolate to dark chocolate as I’ve aged gracefully. I also find a nice small glass of blueberry wine (1) in the evening to be enjoyable as well, but it’s not for everyone. Like you, I hope my writing can make the world a slightly better place by bringing a touch of happiness to people’s lives.
    best regards,
    Life Seemed Good, But….

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  8. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.” by Harry S Truman.

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    • Thank you for your very kind words! I seek to inspire the people of the world with my unique insights! I am blessed to be able to draw the deeper meaning out of everyday events and situations in the world. If along the way I am able to touch another soul; my purpose for writing is fulfilled. If fame manages to find me, then I am the better in that I can write full time.

      Take the very best of care,


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