There is hope to be found

My Nikkel's Worth column

In the Christmas classic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, the lead character George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, finds himself at the wrong end of a set of circumstances, with a vindictive businessman ready and willing to pounce and take him down.
In despair, he first went to a bar and cried as he prayed, knowing he was in deep trouble, and asked for help. He then made his way to the bridge in their town, and was considering whether he was worth more dead than alive, and was all ready to jump in and end it all when Clarence the angel jumped into the river instead.
Clarence (who hadn’t earned his wings yet) went on to show him that life isn’t that bad, and his in particular was actually a wonderful one, with a wife and kids, and a business that helped people out.
In short, life in the town of Bedford Falls was better for many people because George Bailey was in it, and was trying to make a difference.
Perhaps the movie over-exaggerated the breadth and scope of the impact of his life … but maybe not, if one considers how one action leads to another, and leads to another and so on, kind of like a ripple effect in the community.
In the end (spoiler alert), George Bailey and his family were able to have a merry Christmas, and were able to celebrate the good that his character was able to do in people’s lives. (And, of course, Clarence earned his wings.)
There are many positive aspects to the movie, not least of which is that a person needs to have a look at the big picture and not just focus on the short-term, immediate problem one may be facing in life.
Secondly, any such action as taking one’s life will have wide-ranging repercussions on many people, and I thought the movie did a good job in showing that one’s life touches many other people and affects many lives around them.
A person despairing of their circumstances may not always be able to see beyond what is immediately in front of them, and may need reminding of that fact.
Every person’s circumstances are different, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and have a look at everything they’ve done, and the good they can yet do for other people.
Christmas can be very difficult for some people, depending on their life’s circumstances, but some truths supercede all circumstances, such as the value of joy and peace, and the optimism of a new life. The power of love also can overcome a lot, and all of these and more can be found within the story of the first Christmas.
If it’s hard to find anything positive to focus on, call someone (a friend or a member of the Ministerial Association, or the CMHA) and talk about the feelings you’re having.m

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