Dec 18, 2020
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are realizing that we’ve got it pretty good after all. Sure, we’ve got some debt and bankers aren’t ever doing us any favors, but life is still worth living in the Frank Capra classic from 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life.
I want to get something out of the way right at the beginning: Potter’s a jerk. Just a straight-up, stone-cold, heartless bastard. He’s very frustrating to watch and doesn’t appear to have any redeeming qualities by the end of the film. He’s just a miserly, bitter old fool. He’s a great antagonist, though, I will say that. I can’t think of another film villain that is so deserving of all the ill will that’s aimed at him.
Yeah, I know, we should all get in the Christmas spirit. Being able to forgive others is an essential and good quality to have. I get it, but look, forgiveness should still be earned and Potter wouldn’t hesitate to step on your neck if it meant making more money. My advice? Spend your time and forgiveness on someone who deserves it.
Like George Bailey, for instance. Now there’s a stand-up fella. Does he have his flaws and shortcomings? Who among us doesn’t? He’s been dealt some unfortunate cards in life—he’s also been dealt some really great cards (I’m looking at you, Mary)—but he still does what’s right. He had great dreams and wanted to be a different person, but he understands that there are people who depend on him. Despite the disappointments he’s had in life, he’s always there for them.
More importantly, he’s like every one of us: he’s still human. He’s got his troubles and sometimes things get to be too much for him. We’ve all felt overwhelmed in our lives. The important thing to remember is life is worth living and there’s always someone out there who wants you to keep going. You’re never without someone cheering you on. For George, it was his family, his town, and dear Clarence.
This is a lovely movie and a classic for a reason. If you haven’t seen it, then give it a watch. It lives up to its reputation. If you’ve already seen it (and possibly many, many times), then give it another watch. It’s a heartwarming story about learning to love yourself.
Also, remember to ring a bell the next time you see one.
(Recorded on December 14, 2020)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned: