Today I am thankful for It’s a Wonderful Life.
Seriously, is there a better movie than that to help you hit the reset button? We watched it last night and we will watch it at least one more time in the next few months (holiday tradition with my mom). Every year like clockwork this movie helps to reset the moral compass and thought process.
Yup, it is totally corny and cheesy, but how can you not love and relate to the movie? The main character is very much a real person who fights the same shortcomings we all face. These include jealousy, anger, disappointment, frustration, wanting to escape, not enjoying the present, and others. The you really look at it objectively, the dude has some serious issues… but who amongst us doesn’t? And that’s part of the lure of the movie as well, we’re all flawed. I could probably go into a long discussion about why this is also Peter was by far my favorite disciple, but I’m pretty sure that’s a story for a different day.
All the while there George shows many of the traits we all wish we showed more like helping others over self, taking accountability, protecting others, and so on. Funny thing how we have two things at once, role model and anti-hero. Think about it, how many different faces of George do we see in the movie?
It seems like almost every time I watch it there’s a new twist, wrinkle, concept, or thought that I hadn’t quite noticed or figured out before. This time it was a very simple little quote that is never spoken, just shown for a fleeting moment under a picture of his dad as George is deciding what to do…
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” How powerful is that quote when you take a step back and truly think about it? So many things can be thought of, money, possessions, knowledge, love, and so on. While I do get a little hung up on just how evil they make the rich guy and how George doesn’t have an option of doing better for himself while helping others (there’s an AND that gets lost), one can’t help but realize just how powerful that quote is.
How many times in my life could I have given that I didn’t? When should I have done more and I didn’t? Why do I sometimes not make a gift of myself and share time with others when I should have?
Don’t worry, I’m not going out on the deep end and think that I’m a bad person. I know that I do more good than bad, but I have a long ways to go. This movie really helps me see the gap between who I am and who I could be. It gives me a better idea of the ideals I should strive towards. While this realization can certainly sting a bit (or a lot) it is much needed to help keep me growing. And that’s why I’m thankful for this movie, it always makes me think and strive to be a better person.