Letter to the Editor: What ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ can teach us about everyday life

Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Karolyn Grimes in the American film "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946 | Public domain image, St. George News

OPINION — During the Christmas Season, there is a movie that has become a Christmas classic and one of my favorite Christmas movies. It’s called “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as his wife.

When it was released in 1946, it was initially considered a box office flop, but it has since been recognized as one of America’s best 100 movies and awarded as the No. 1 most inspirational American film of all time.

There is a scene in the movie where George has become despondent and attempts to take his life by jumping off a bridge. Clarence, “the second class angel” who is trying to obtain his wings, jumps in the river and saves George. They end up in the bridge keeper’s shack, and as they are trying to get warm, George says to Clarence, “I wish I had never been born.”

Hearing that, Clarence gets this great idea, and George Bailey’s world changes when he finds out he had never been born. No one knows him in Bedford Falls, where he lives. Here George discovers that nothing is the same anymore. Bedford Falls was now known as Pottersville and is the home of sleazy nightclubs and pawn shops.

The great message in this movie is that life should be cherished; life is precious because every person’s life touches so many others. Each of us makes a difference in someone’s life and in our community. Maybe it was only a smile, a “hi,” or going out of your way to make someone’s life easier.

The fact is, in most cases, we don’t know how we have changed someone’s life for good, just as George Bailey learned. By saving his younger brother Harry’s life, Harry was able to save many others and received the Congressional Medal of Honor for it.

George kept the druggist, Mr. Grover, from giving a wrong prescription, which saved a child’s life. He had saved his Uncle Billy from the asylum, and he kept his wife, Mary, from being an “old maid librarian,” according to the movie.

It was the little things he did for others that made a big difference in the lives of so many. As it is with us, the little things we do make a big difference. So, when you think that you’re not making a difference, you are.

When you think, “why am I taking time out of my busy day to go to see someone, or take their garbage out or helping out on a service project,” remember George Bailey.

Take time and watch the movie again, grab some popcorn and enjoy this movie with loved ones.

Submitted by JIM TERRY, St. George.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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