Our wonderful lives
The classic 1946 holiday movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” seems to be experiencing a resurgence in popularity as some local movie theaters have included it in their December lineup of shows. The film is speaking to a whole new audience that seems to identify with the characters and situations that were depicted in black and white nearly 70 years ago. The message of the film back then prevails: even in the depths of despair, hope is a lot closer than we realize.
For those who are unfamiliar with the movie, here’s a brief synopsis: The main character, George Bailey, is a virtuous young man who inadvertently becomes the victim of an unjust world from which he sees no escape except to wish he’d never been born. An angel then intervenes to help him see how his existence has touched the lives of so many people in a positive way. The response he receives from the people he has helped leads him to understand the worth of his being. The story reads like a fairy tale, but it’s a lot closer to the truth.
There are many George Baileys living among us, helping neighbors within our communities. Consider the consummate volunteers who use their free time to work toward a common goal for the betterment of neighborhoods or schools. Then there are the folks who find the time to run fundraisers for families experiencing hardship and also organize food, clothing and blood drives. Some people minister to the sick and lend a helping hand to the elderly. We have all seen the “Bailey principle” at work locally during times of crisis, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and subsequently at other less catastrophic times. Many lives continue to be touched by the kindness and generosity of neighbors.
When good deeds are done, it brings some degree of balance to a world where there seems to be an overabundance of poverty, disease and senseless violence. The scales might not tip, but there is invariably a measure of relief. Most people will probably never know all of the people whose lives they have enriched in some way, but their positive actions have made a difference in those lives nonetheless.
Perhaps that is the reason for the renewed interest in this movie. The story reminds us that we all have value and that the value of our existence is directly related to how we treat one another.
That is certainly a message that needs to be revisited from time to time.
We here at the Islip Bulletin/Suffolk County News wish our readers a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.
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