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Amara Kone


A Movie That Taught Me Some Valuable Life Lessons

Posted On:20-May-2020/6:36 am

While following COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I have been watching a lot of movies. I didn’t expect that one of them would affect me the way it did. The title of the movie that taught me a couple of valuable life lessons is “The Ultimate Gift”.

This movie focuses on Jason Stevens - the black sheep of the family. Being a spoiled rich kid, Jason never knew what it felt like to be broke nor did he know anything about working for money. After the death of his grandfather Red Stevens; the family's lawyer and some of his relatives gathered in the board room to hear Ted Hamilton - Red Stevens’s trusted friend and partner - read out his will. Before his death, Red Stevens made a video of himself. In this video, he speaks directly to Jason Stevens. He made it clear that he wanted to pass on his inheritance to his grandson, but before that, Jason would have to pass a series of tests, twelve to be exact. He described these tests as “gifts.”

He gave instructions regarding how these twelve tests should be carried out. Each test was chosen by Red Steven to teach his grandson an important life lesson.

He said to his grandson, “Jason, I made a lot of mistakes in our family but I guess you're the one I hurt the most. So now, I’ve decided to make it up to you and I think the best way to do that is by not giving you anything. What I actually mean is that I'm not giving you anything for now. So just relax. I've thought about this carefully, how can I give you something and not have it destroy you like your uncles and aunts? And even your kids? That’s why I want to give you something beautiful; a series of gifts that’ll eventually lead to the ultimate gift. However, there’s a condition attached; if you fail any of the tests, it’s over! You get absolutely nothing. Also, as you pass through the tests, everything you do must be to Mr Hamilton’s satisfaction.“

Jason receives the following gifts:

1. The Gift of Work

In this test, Jason must learn to value the lessons of joy and fulfilment that come with working for money.

How often do you stop and appreciate the gift of a hard day’s work? Do you actually realize that a lot of personal growth comes from the daily efforts you put in while trying to make your own money? Think about this for a moment.

2. The Gift of Money

In this test, Jason is given $1,500 and told that the money must be spent on five people who really need it. While undergoing this test, Jason realizes that money can be a tool for doing good, instead of being used for selfish purposes only.

When it comes to money, most people only think about themselves. This shouldn’t be the case. You can actually touch the lives of people with a simple act of kindness.

3. The Gift of Friendship

This test teaches Jason about the importance of friendship. He comes to realize that a true friend is one who would do anything humanly possible to help you out when the need arises.

A popular cliché states that, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” You may never know who your true friends are, until you find yourself in a difficult situation. Therefore, it’s important to carefully select your friends. It’s better to have a few trusted friends than a multitude of people you can’t count on.

Furthermore, Jason also gets the gift of learning, problems, family, laughter, dreams, giving, gratitude, love, and the gift of a day. After carrying out the twelve tasks, Jason suddenly realizes the true essence of life, and becomes thankful for the “gifts” he received from his grandfather. At the end of the tests, Jason receives $100 million as his inheritance to do whatever he wishes.

In conclusion, here’s the basic life lesson I learnt from this movie. The Ultimate Gift showed me the true meaning of success. It made me realize that success isn't just about material possessions. Success is about following your passions and lending a helping hand to people around you; so that at the end of your life you will be happy, knowing that you made a difference in the lives of the people around you.


1 : People usually take the things in their life for granted.

2 : We often don’t take note of the lessons life teaches us until they are pointed out.

3 : True success in life equals following your passion and helping those around you.

Category:  Life Lessons/Lessons Learned / Subcategory:  They Are All Around Us

Tags: Covid-19, broke, working, money, tests, gifts, death, growth, fulfillment, joy, kindness, friendship, inheritance, success, passion

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S. Jakes


Amara, I did see the movie years ago--awesome movie. What stuck with me most was Jason meeting the sick girl and her mother. This was when he learned that the ultimate gift was life and helping those around him. I remember thinking that the little girl was amazing in the movie--I cannot remember her name, but she was also in Little Miss Sunshine. Amara, I enjoyed reading this :-)

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Adaego M. Azi


Amara--I have been meaning to watch that movie. From your description it sounds interesting. I think you are right about life lessons. We learn them all the time and so do people around us, but we are not paying attention. I bet that everyone learns at least 3 life lessons every year that we could apply to our life in the future or learn not to make the same mistake again. A $100 million inheritance would be a welcome gift at the moment--I wouldn’t even know how to start spending it. Thanks Amara.

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D. C. Lawrence


Amara, I also have not seen this movie. But any movie that specifically addresses life lessons is something I will watch, so thanks for the heads-up. And I must say, these are important life lessons that are depicted in the movie. I took your commentary on the gift of friendship to heart—probably about 5 years ago, I started getting rid of fair-weather friends from my life. They really serve no purpose and are simply a vexation of spirit.

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Nadine Wu


Amara, I see like the rest of us, you are watching a lot of movies while quarantining. I have not seen this one. It sounds like a bit of a mystery, with a big life lesson at the end--so I will have to watch it. The gift of money reminded me of something I heard a long time ago (maybe it was part of a joke)--a soon to be husband wanted to test how selfish is soon to be wife was, so he gave her $5000 and told her to go buy some presents. He wanted to see if she would spend all the money on herself, all the money on him, or spend the money on the two of them. And of course, she spent all the money on herself :-) Thanks for the life lessons.