It’s A Wonderful Life
You remember George Bailey in the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The times were so tough that he found himself lamenting that it “may have been better if he was never born”. The story then unfolds with Clarence (the angel who is earning his first-class wings) showing George how life would have been so different without his impact on all the people around him. It was an eye-opening and emotional journey for George!
In this month of “giving thanks” let’s look at the lessons to be learned from this perennial classic.
First, we tend to see but not value the very life we are living right now. That might require us to look at the same things in a different way with a different perspective. So much of our daily “to do” lists can become routine. Cleaning our house is just another chore until you are grateful that you have a house to clean! Can you look around and see the good everywhere? Or do you just see what needs to be “fixed”? In the movie, George was frustrated that the rails on his stairway were falling apart. But when he came back from his “tour” with Clarence, he looked at the stairs with a big smile and said, “hello old stairs, it’s good to see you!”. We can choose to understand that while there are always improvements to be made, we can still focus on appreciating the life we are living in this moment.
Next, remember that a single life makes an enormous difference. Each one of us touches so many lives and if we were not around, it would leave a big hole! So, we can be grateful for everyone who enters our life because they have helped us grow in some way, as we have helped them as well. It is truly a miracle to think of all the seemingly “random” events that have happened to bring us here to this moment in our lives. Now that is something to be thankful for!
And finally, we can ponder on how we want to be remembered which directly correlates to how we are living our life. Is it one where we are grateful for our gifts and talents and want to give back to others? What kind of impact do you have on people in your simple daily interactions? There is a famous poem called “The Dash” and it refers to the “dash” on a tombstone between your birthdate and your date of death. The question is posed, how will you live in the dash?
Make a point to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” this holiday season. And remember, our reward and thankfulness comes from the growth we experience not in just the easy things and relationships but more so from our challenges along the way.