Green Room

We all can be George Bailey

posted at 12:31 pm on December 23, 2012 by

Salena Zito reminds us that the true message of Christmas isn’t how many presents we get under the tree – nor how many we give, for that matter.  Just as George Bailey lent his neighbors a real helping hand in It’s a Wonderful Life, we all can find ways to do the same — every day:

Today is as good a day as any to think about how you conduct your own life.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of responding with an angry gesture, just smile and wave.

If you spend time posting your views on Facebook or Twitter, ignore the impulse to snark away.

Or, the next time you‘re out at lunch or dinner, skip the appetizer or dessert so you can treat a needy stranger instead.

It doesn‘t take much to realize that every one of us has a little George Bailey from the classic Christmas film “It‘s a Wonderful Life” inside. We all can make a difference and, when we do it with a smile and without expecting an avalanche of attention, we‘re better people and a better society for having done so.

For Christians, the Advent season celebrates the fact that God humbled Himself by sending His only begotten Son — not to lord over us, as He certainly could have, but to patiently and kindly teach us to love one another in a sacrificial manner, and to die the most horrible of deaths at that time to pay for all of our sins once and for all.  While we can enjoy the secular celebration of Christmas at the same time, the true miracle of Advent is within our power every day.

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Ever read the story of the real life George Bailey? Capra based the movie on A.P. Giannini, founder of the Bank of Italy (which later became the Bank of America).

debbywitt on December 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I always wondered about people who got to see what the world would have been like if they’d never been born, and seen it was a better place without them.
/makes one look in the mirror and wonder

Paul-Cincy on December 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Well maybe, but my wife would never pass for Donna Reed.

Ted Torgerson on December 23, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Sounds a lot like St. Therese’s Little Way.

Illinidiva on December 23, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Wasn’t he a suicidal drinker who gave up on his dreams only to lose a fortune by trusting his drunkard brother with the bank deposits?

His wife was gorgeous.

AshleyTKing on December 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

AshleyTKing on December 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

I believe it was his uncle. I’m already too nice. I need to work on learning to say no once in awhile.

Night Owl on December 24, 2012 at 5:37 AM

We can all be embittered men who gave up their dreams to stay in Hicksville, where their incompetent Uncles nearly get them jailed for bank fraud?


What a dumb story.

Look: Mr. Potter stole the damn money and everyone knows it. Have HIM arrested instead of costing your friends and neighbors their life savings bailing you out.


ConservativeTalkRadio on December 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Not American so might be missing something but it’s a wonderful life seemed like new deal propaganda

Gaurav on December 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

The movie is anti-capitalist for sure, and George was far more generous than reality would ever warrant (in real life, the Building & Loan would have been bankrupt long before Potter intervened), but I think the central message of the movie is a good one. Giving of oneself selflessly, neighbors looking out for neighbors instead of waiting for a government handout. These are good things IMO.

NoLeftTurn on December 24, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Bah, Humbug! I’ll let Dear Leader and the government do all the giving since they already do all the taking.

bgibbs1000 on December 25, 2012 at 7:41 AM