Need a lift? Life getting you down? Mistakes or questionable choices you’ve made seem to be piling up? Or perhaps you’re doing great and would love to feel even better.
It’s that time of year when the 1946 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” can put your life in perspective.
In case you missed it, when George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stuart, hit rock bottom and was ready to jump off a bridge and end his life, Clarence the angel appeared. In the midst of his profound discouragement, George thought that maybe it would’ve been better if he was never born.
Words being powerful, Clarence got the idea to show him what life would be like for others if that were true.
Here are some quotes from the movie:
CLARENCE (to himself): Hmm, this isn’t going to be so easy. (to George) So, you still think killing yourself would make everyone feel happier, eh?
GEORGE (dejectedly): Oh, I don’t know. I guess you’re right. I suppose it would have been better if I’d never been born at all.
CLARENCE: What’d you say?
GEORGE: I said I wish I’d never been born.
CLARENCE: Oh, you mustn’t say things like that. You … wait a minute. Wait a minute. That’s an idea. (glances up toward heaven) What do you think? Yeah, that’ll do it. All right. You’ve got your wish. You’ve never been born.
Scenes followed where George was able to see the difference he made in people’s lives. Here are some examples.
CLARENCE: Your brother, Harry Bailey, broke through the ice and was drowned at the age of 9.
GEORGE: That’s a lie! Harry Bailey went to war! He got the Congressional Medal of Honor! He saved the lives of every man on that transport.
CLARENCE: Every man on that transport died! Harry wasn’t there to save them because you weren’t there to save Harry.
You see, George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?
George began to see the difference his life made when he saw the impact he’s had, not only on his brother’s life, but on the lives of friends, family and others.
GEORGE (exasperated while talking with a dear friend who doesn’t recognize him… because he hadn’t been born): Seen your wife? I’ve been to your house a hundred times.
ERNIE: Look, bud, what’s the idea? I live in a shack in Potter’s Field, and my wife ran away three years ago and took the kid … and I ain’t never seen you before in my life.
George discovered that without keeping his well-meaning but scattered Uncle Billy on track, he didn’t do so well.
MA BAILEY: When’d you see him last?
GEORGE: Today, over at the house.
MA BAILEY: That’s a lie. He’s been in the insane asylum ever since he lost his business. And, if you ask me, that’s where you belong.
CLARENCE: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
GEORGE: Clarence! Clarence! Help me, Clarence! Get me back! Get me back, I don’t care what happens to me! Get me back to my wife and kids! Help me Clarence, please! Please! I want to live again. I want to live again. Please, God, let me live again.
And when George returned to his life, he found that his crisis was solved with help from friends.
Regardless of your ups or downs, you make a difference.
If you have pets, they know it. So do many others.
Even if you think you’re all alone, that stranger who you smiled at felt better. Or maybe you extended a kindness by letting someone’s car go in front of you, and they felt grateful — only you didn’t know it. Or you took a moment to listen to someone who needed to be heard.
In small ways and big ones, you do matter and make a difference.
If you look past outer experiences, circumstances and limiting perceptions of yourself, you can let yourself see that you matter and you really do have a wonderful life.
Even if we’ve never met, I’m grateful for you, too! You’re alive, which means you have a purpose for being here.
P.S. Is there someone who you’d like to know that they make a difference? Please share.
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