I just thought I’d make a quick post about a thought I had while watching It’s a Wonderful Life.” The message that the movie carries is really quite foreign to modern audiences isn’t it? Here you have George Bailey, a man who all his life has wanted to travel the world and do big, important things. And yet life, and his own conscience keep him in his hometown of Bedford Falls, seemingly trapped in his average existence.
Now the modern sentiment in movies is to “follow your dreams” or “be yourself.” Can you imagine how different a movie it would have been if George had said screw you to Bedford Falls and gone on his world tour? If he had followed the advice of today’s mass media, or your average Disney TV movie he would have left to become an architect like he planned.
Instead George put his family first. He thought of others before himself and did what was right by his community. Everything in his life that he thought he would do ended up changing over time. Naturally he is bitter over this at first, but if you have seen the movie (Spoilers for a 66 year old movie!!) you know that he finds an appreciation for the life he has been blessed with, not the life he could have had. How different than the modern idea! By putting his principles and those he cared for above himself George achieved happiness equal to if not greater than he had imagined.
May we all remember to keep our priorities straight, and not be so caught up in ourselves. Though our plans for the future might not always come to pass and we can’t always get the things we think we want, we shouldn’t let regret or selfishness blind us to the wonderful life right in front of us.