Monday, December 23, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

This time of year I am always on the lookout for when "It's Wonderful Life," is airing on television.

I could buy the DVD of this holiday classic but that would take the spontaneity out of it for me.  I like the surprise of turning on the television and finding it already on, or in the case of this past Friday evening, I caught it right at the very beginning.

I know that it's not a diverse film, I know that many things that happen in this film are dated and wouldn't be said or wouldn't happen today but I think "It's A Wonderful Life" is popular for other reasons.  The story's core message rings true today for all of us whether or not a particular group of people is featured in the movie or not.

It doesn't matter what gender or race you are or where you live or what you do, whether you are a parent or married or single because here's the message of the movie:  each person's life has a purpose.
We are George Bailey.
We may not know the effect that our life has on another person's but rest assured it does.  Each one of us is here on Earth for a reason and our life does make a difference and touches so many other lives.  The big things and the small things that we do and do not do not only affects our life, but also the lives of many others.  Please remember this idea when you are having a bad day and nothing seems to be going right.  You are probably doing something good and you just don't realize it.
Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed star in "It's A Wonderful Life"
In the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life", we see that the town of Bedford Falls would have been known as Pottersville if it were not for George Bailey and the Bailey Savings & Loan offering help to the community.  Also when George is a boy he saves his brother, Harry, who then grows up to be a War Hero, from drowning in an icy pond, and George also prevents the pharmacist, Mr. Gower, from giving poisonous pills to a customer.

But George doesn't think twice about the good works he has done.  This is just the way he is wired.  Then one Christmas Eve a large amount of bank money is misplaced and he is desperate to find it. When he can't, all he can see is criminal charges and jail time in his future.  He decides he will be worth more dead than alive and then George starts thinking about suicide.  He drives to a bridge but before he can do anything, a man jumps into the river and George jumps in to save him.  After they both get out of the river, the man reveals himself to be Clarence, George Bailey's guardian angel. 
I love Clarence!  He is a great character with his large sleeping shirt and talk of earning his wings in Heaven for when he first arrives on Earth he is only an AS2, Angel Second Class.
This gem of a movie opened two weeks before Christmas in 1946 but it didn't do very well.  It wasn't until 1974 when it began airing on network television that it gained a huge following.  Ever since then the movie is shown during the holidays and is a wonderful reminder that life is all about love and taking care of each other.

As Clarence writes in his thank you note to George: "No man is a failure who has friends.  Thanks for the wings.  Love, Clarence."

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