The film, “It’s A Wonderful Life” came out in 1946. The war had ended and this film hoped to capture the hearts of all who saw it that Christmas. Though it wasn’t a hit and actually got panned, it has become a staple of Christmas movies one needs to see each Christmas. Though not initially liked, it has become an icon.
It’s the premise that I wanted to write about. The movie presents a desperate man, George, who through his sacrifice had saved his community, and yet he still felt that he was a failure. And because of this, George was about to end his life. In steps his guardian angel who shows him what the world would be like without him.
Now you can figure out that he would not go through with it and in fact found his riches were measured, not by money but rather by the number of friends he was surrounded by. The film’s message is that we are all like George or at least hope to be. The Christmas season is the perfect time for us to be reminded that we can be who we want to be. We just need see the forest for the trees.
It is too easy for us to measure success by the wrong set of parameters. In that evaluation, we are either feeling successful because we are well off or we deem ourselves a failure because we lack monetary wealth. The movie reminds us that we should be measuring our success by the number of people we have touched or maybe even influenced for change.
Christmas letters and cards are a tactile way of seeing the number of people who care about us enough to send us the letter or card in the first place. At this time of year, take time to count the number of people who bless your life. And then, let them know.
At Christmas we can be who we want to be, but don’t let the rest of the year undo that feeling. Live in the present and give to the future. Christmas reminds us that no person who has friends is ever a failure.