One of my favorite movies of all time is Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. Even as a child, I would watch parts of it over and over again and be mesmerized by the story, full of lessons for everyone. I am excited that I will be able to sit down once again this Christmas and enjoy it again, and yes, a box of Kleenex will be nearby for the tears that would undoubtedly roll down my cheeks when George Bailey kisses that stairwell knob, rediscovers Zuzu’s petals, and his brother flies in a blizzard to help him while his friends bring money to raise funds so he won’t go to jail. “A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town” Harry muses at the end of the movie.
Yes, George was rich, but not in money. Earlier in the movie, trying to save the Building and Loan from the greedy hands of Mr. Potter after his father died, George tells him that his father died a richer man he’ll ever be, because all his life he wasn’t motivated by money, but by his heart. He had helped people getting out of Potter’s slums and he felt that these people were doing most of the working and paying and living and dying in the community, and it wasn’t too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath. A lesson that resonates even today.
But to me, the main message of the movie is that EVERYONE matters. EVERYONE. As George’s guardian angel, Clarence, so eloquently said… “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Take a look at everyone in your life and make a list of those people that helped you in any way and say THANK YOU today, even if just silently. And even if someone doesn’t or never has enhanced your life, then let them be examples of what you do not want to do, be, or become, but understand, equally, we’re all as important as the other to the whole.
God bless you my many friends. And thank you.