The 1946 classic starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed depicts a man named George who keeps getting “stuck” in the small town of Bedford Falls. He has big dreams to travel the world, but life keeps getting in the way. His father dies and leaves him his business and his brother gets married and leaves town.
George ends up getting married and having kids, all the while living in the same small town, running the same small building and loan business but feeling resentful that everyone else gets to leave and have adventures.
The entire movie is filled with beautiful moments; George saving his brother’s life, George giving his honeymoon money to locals when there was a run on the bank, the local community that George and his company help to build for people who couldn’t afford a home otherwise. Also throughout the movie, George’s friends from childhood appear having traveled the world, chased their dreams and found success.
The movie ends with George getting to see the difference he has actually made and that he has actually had A Wonderful Life.
Have you ever felt stuck? Ever felt like the world was passing you by while you take care of what’s in front of you? Especially this year, we have all felt moments of loss and isolation. But we don’t need to let that define us. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Life is made up of moments not accomplishments. That is what George didn’t realize. While he was busy being jealous and complaining, he missed appreciating all of the beautiful moments that had made his life so rich.
As 2020 comes to a close, how can you take time to appreciate the moments and people in your life? Here are some ideas:
- Create a photo album from this past year
- Call 3 people to let them know you appreciate them
- Put away screens the next time you have a meal with people
- Make a list of 20 things you are thankful for
- Start a journal or if you already have one, read back over what you wrote this year
- Give back, whether that is to charity or someone you know who is in need
- Get outside and spend time in nature
- Spend an evening with friends or family, even if it has to be virtually
- Watch It’s a Wonderful Life
Teddy Roosevelt is credited with saying that “comparison is the thief of joy.”
There is a sign that appears in the Building and Loan office during the movie that reads, “All that you can take with you is that which you give away.”
Living a life of significance is the true adventure. Embrace the adventure today!
Merry Christmas everyone!