Living a wonderful life every day

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2015

“You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it all away?” ––“It’s a Wonderful Life”
The above was spoken by the angel Clarence in my favorite Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
I get teased a lot for my attachment to this film and my insistence that, as per family tradition, the movie be watched every Christmas Eve while sipping on dad’s hot homemade eggnog.
George Bailey’s plight reminds me every year that I do have a wonderful life.
Also, I’m a fan of the classic black and white films.
Call me old fashioned, but a film made in 1946 without computer-generated images and the implementation of a great script and cast is more appealing to me than some of today’s blockbusters.
Lionel Barrymore portrays Mr. Potter, the banker most viewers love to dislike, especially for his mistreatment of the Bailey family.
Donna Reed gives a great performance as Mary and I often find myself humming “Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight” instead of a Christmas tune.
Thomas Mitchell’s portrayal of the scatterbrained Uncle Billy always warms my heart.
However, as I’m sure most would agree, the casting of Henry Travers and James Stewart as Clarence and George Bailey is one of the most perfect Hollywood pairings.
After meeting Clarence, when George wanders through Bedford Falls, he meets people he thought should know him. But what he discovers, is that he in fact had not been born and the lives of those he helped in life took a dramatic turn for the worse.
As I watch him struggle to understand the importance of his role in his community, I think about the impact I want to leave on those around me.
Now, I wonder if I’m being a good wife, daughter, sister, aunt and family member. Am I being a good friend to those I treasure the most outside the blood bonds of family? Am I performing my job duties to the best of my ability and helping my community in the best way I can?
These are questions we should all ask of ourselves every day.
Though I’m a pessimist, I try to give everyone I meet the benefit of the doubt and focus on the good I know lies inside. For some, kindness and humility is hard to portray, but I feel the more caring and compassionate one is, the more he or she will get back from those who surround them.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Remember to always be kind to those around you, you never know who might need their own iteration of Clarence to point out that their life truly is wonderful and that we all contribute something meaningful to this world.

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