Yesterday, I saw It’s a Wonderful Life at Cine’ in downtown Athens with a friend. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that movie on television during the Christmas season, but Thank You Cine’ for bringing it to the big screen! Some things just need to be embraced in a big way.
I think that everyone needs to see this movie EVERY year as a reminder…of who we are and what we have and why we need to be grateful for all of that. There are so many takeaways from the movie if we allow ourselves to be drawn in.
First of all, we are reminded that we need to love BIG and, at least in theory, be willing to Lasso the Moon for those we love. Expressions of big love will never go unnoticed. They will form indelible images in hearts for a lifetime. They find their niche and sustain us through the difficult bumps and bruises of life. They become a form of protective armor against hurtful emotions.
Sometimes a different plan than ours can be better than we ever thought possible. George Bailey had a plan for his life…but it didn’t turn out quite the way he had hoped. You could sense his disappointment and frustration even as we, the audience, could begin to see the wonder he already had in his life. George represents all of us at some point or another. Don’t you suppose that God may feel a little bit like that when he looks down at our disappointment and frustration with what we have? George may not have gotten the life he planned, but he found that he was the richest man in town in all the ways that really matter most. Who wouldn’t want to find themselves in that place?
This movie reminds us that we are all connected. When we help each other, we all win. “Your money’s in Joe’s house, and in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Macklin’s house, and a hundred others. We’ve got to stick together. We’ve got to have faith in each other.” Yes, George, we have got to have faith in each other. Our life affects all the lives around us. Even on our sad and lonely days, we need to try to remember that.
Gratitude is a life force! There will always be Mr. Potters in your life…the ones that try their best suck the joy out of you and make you as miserable as they must feel. They are real life Dementors. But, when George Bailey finally realized and embraced his gratitude, Mr. Potter lost his power over him. George was able to wish Merry Christmas to stingy old Mr. Potter and mean it from the bottom of his heart. That’s what gratitude will do for you, it pushes out the nastiness to leave only the best behind.
It took a literal angel to prove to George Bailey that his life had value and that he had made a difference in a myriad of ways just by living it day to day. I wish I could send an angel into the lives of everyone that is doubting that. Life may look a little different than we thought it would on the outside…but it is in the love we share, the friendships we foster, the acts of kindness, and can even be found in things as insignificant as ZuZu’s petals.
So Life, my friends,…is pretty wonderful!!
Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence