Worth Remembering

Published: November 24, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
Read More

“You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?”— Clarence the angel, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

It’s a Wonderful Life has become a staple during the holiday season, (except for those addicted to the Hallmark Channel).

George Bailey is a good and decent man with family and friends whom he helps in the small town of Bedford Falls. Successor to his father’s Building and Loan, George not only helps with home loans but the personal needs of many of the town’s citizens. Of course, what he really does is help the people put aside their doubts and fears and stand together when a disaster threatens the entire town, even putting up his own money to prevent financial collapse. And he’s pretty good at it all, until the day comes when George questions his own faith.

Torn apart by a sense of failure, George is a metaphor of our times.

With distrust and dishonesty tearing us apart, we’re all standing on that bridge asking for divine guidance. Sadly, the violence that exploded on January 6 has only provoked those who saw a country they once believed in as an utter failure.

Overwhelmed by desperation, George feels that it would have been better had he never been born. The angel that comes to his rescue shows him how “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole.”

Following the path of the movie, this is where “the better angels of our nature”—the positive traits of character—would enter and help us get back on track. However, it requires a willingness on our part to see what is true and good in our lives.

Lincoln’s “better angels” plea was aimed at our “dissatisfied countrymen,” to put “passion” aside, calmly see the good and, in time, for both sides to heal that which divides us.

Setting aside his moments of doubt and desperation, George remembers what’s most important: his family and friends. He understands that we all contribute in building our community.

The lesson: If we are willing to put aside what divides us–as the country has done before–we have an opportunity to see what’s most important: that, in the long run, we all touch so many other lives in making this democracy work for the betterment of all.

You see America, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?


There are currently no comments. Why don't you kick things off?

Leave a Comment

Read More Articles
The Latest... And Sometimes Greatest
The New Christian Front
Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, The New York Times reported, told supporters at a recent rally. “My campaign has no place...
July 12, 2022
Hearts of Darkness
“It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.”–Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness “You back-stabbing son of a bitch. You go...
July 8, 2022
This House Divided
“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do...
July 4, 2022
Has America Lost Its Moral Compass?
In September 2009, I posted a commentary with that title with the following opening . . . “During an awards ceremony, a Rap star takes...
July 1, 2022
Who Are We?
In a Q&A session last month after a performance of the Broadway show Company, a woman in the audience was asked to put her mask...
June 28, 2022
The United States vs. Donald Trump
If Attorney General Merrick Garland is looking for grounds for bringing criminal charges against Donald Trump and his allies in their attempts to overthrow the...
June 24, 2022