Leap Year Lesson #357: It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted: December 22, 2012 in Attitude
Tags: ,

It's A Wonderful LifeOne of the annual Christmas season rituals for my wife and me is to watch the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.  We did that again tonight.  Given the number of years we’ve been doing this, it’s safe to say that I’ve seen this movie more times than any other movie.

You know the story line: James Stewart’s character, George, hits a new low when a series of unfortunate events leads him to conclude that things would be better if he had never been born.  Clumsy angel-in-training Clarence gives George the chance to see what the world would be like if that were true, proving to George that he has made a big difference in the lives of others and that he has, in fact, a wonderful life.

I don’t know anyone who always has only good things happen to them, nor anyone who is always the victim of bad.  Life is a mixture of both.  What matters is how we handle it, and that is a matter of attitude, character, determination, effort and faith.

My worst lows of the past year are nothing compared to the heartache many experienced.  I am blessed with a wonderful family, great friends, a comfortable home, a job I love that rewards me financially and intrinsically, great relationships, a church with many friends I love, and a Christian faith that serves as the core of who I am and how I see the world.

I don’t expect any movie to ever be made of my life, and if it was it would more likely be called It’s a Weird, Mixed, Unpredictable, Boring, Hypocritical Life: Why Are You Watching This?  But from where I sit as I write this in my 12-year-old recliner in my 70-year-old home beside my 2-year-old dog after 33 years of marriage, I have to agree with George.  Not because of the difference I’ve made in the lives of others (although I hope there’s truth in that), but because of all the ways others have blessed me and continue to do so, leap year lesson #357 is It’s a wonderful life.

  1. Valary says:

    I don’t think there are many writers that have the ability to make me belly-laugh like you do, Jeff.

    One of the things I have always admired about you is your absolutely authentic humility and amazing ability to find humor and the Sacred in every situation. You always reminded me of Andy Griffith in that respect — with a delivery style subtly hinting of that Mark Twain-like dry wit of yours.

    Of course, there is no question that you have and continue to affect and change the lives of countless others in helpful and meaningful ways. I am one of those “others” who counts you among the many abundantly rich blessings of my life.

    Thank you for this post today, Jeff. You have no idea how much I needed this just now. I hope you never stop writing.


    • Jeff Ross says:

      Well, I guess there is comfort in knowing that I remind you of a couple of dead men. : )

      Seriously, Valary, you are extremely kind in your comment and I appreciate you and your words more than you know.

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