Well, I did it. Just as I do every year around this time, I did it.
This past Saturday, my husband and I watched the NBC broadcast of the Christmas classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life.
And, of course, we laughed and cried with George Bailey and choked up at the end as we always do and as we have been doing for many decades now.
This year, in particular, the messages of the film really resonated with me considering the challenges we all have faced during a difficult presidential election, with the continued crises in the Middle East, with unrest and distrust here in the United States, and even in our own day-to-day lives.
But as we are reminded by It’s a Wonderful Life through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of George Bailey (played by none other than the terrific actor Jimmy Stewart!), each person’s life touches so many other lives AND the world’s true riches have nothing to do with money or possessions — they have to do with love, compassion, sacrifice, generosity, acceptance, appreciation, and God’s wonderful grace.
Watch one of the pivotal scenes from the film, when George Bailey defends the decent man his father was in reaction to Mr. Potter, a wealthy businessman whose concern is always money and profit at all costs.
An article from CNN posted last year around this time eloquently states one of the film’s lessons: “Love for friends and family, the decency we exchange with those around us, the value of not doing ‘great things’ but small things in a great way. Those are life's moments inscribed in our heart.”
I think our students, faculty, administrators, and staff here at Maria College are in tune with the lessons of It’s a Wonderful Life: the College’s mission of caring service to others inspired by the Sisters of Mercy and Sister Catherine McAuley’s reminder that “we get on by taking short, careful steps, not great strides” really say it all.
Every Hello, How are you doing?, Can I give you a hand with that? and How can I help? are tremendous gifts that we can give to each other every day, and these gifts do indeed touch the lives of others and make all of us the richest people on earth.
Until next time…
AnnePhoto: National Telefilm Associates (Screenshot of the movie) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons