Good Will Hunting and A Self-Directed, Responsible, Life-Long Learner

Before the Movie:

Understanding what it means to be a Self-Directed, Responsible, Life-Long Learner, pause and reflect on your relationship with learning. In doing his, it is important to understand that learning happens outside of formal schooling.

Reflect: Why do you think it’s important to be a person who is curious and embraces new learning? What do you think you need in life to be a person willing to learn? What does new learning provide you with?

Whether you a student in school or an adult, it’s important to value all learning and the positive impacts that new knowledge and skills can have in your life. Looking to skills needed for young people to be successful in school and beyond, the ability to embrace God-given potential, be resilient and seek out new learning is key to be active learner.

Sean (Robin Williams) gives Will the love that he deserves and encourages him to embrace his God given potential.

During the Movie:

The story of Will Hunting (Matt Damon), an unrecognized mathematical genius is a complex narrative of love, redemption and importantly family as guide to living one’s full potential. Family, is the ultimate barrier in Will Hunting’s life. Unlike his friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck) who has a strong family unit, Will’s connection to a traditional family is broken. Living in isolation, poverty and ashamed of his own personal history, he lies to his girlfriend Skylar (Minnie Driver) about his personal narrative and is deeply dependent on Chuckie and their large group of friends for any sense of normalcy and love. Family and love are the great absentees of Will’s life; it burden’s him and acts to a barrier for any success he may have (professionally or personally). Will’s past is deeply impacting his future as he fails to see the value in himself and refuses to develop his God given potential.

The values that come with family have betrayed Will; his family was abusive and displacing. As such, it is difficult for Will to be open and truthful, as seen in his relationship with Skylar and his therapist Sean (Robin Williams). Will, fears judgement and consequentially hides any sense of who is really is. As Sean importantly asserts that Will’s abusive past is not his fault, it is ultimately his friend Chuckie that defines Will’s course of action; to use his intellectual gifts and take a new path and embrace his God given talent.

After the Movie:

Whether in class with students or at home with family, Good Will Hunting provides an opportunity for us all to reflect on the importance of our families and friendships in shaping who we are and who we thrive to be.

Take an opportunity to reflect on your goals and what will be needed to achieve them. These goals can be short term or long term. In reflecting, write a prayer that speaks to what your goal is and what you can ask from God in order to achieve those goals.

Be creative and have fun!