“Its a Wonderful Life” (from New York Minute Magazine)

We are feet deep in the holiday season and the days are still falling as heavy and frantic as the snowflakes that skip along our high-rise windows. The cold weather, mistletoe, ornate trees, strings of family get-togethers and company parties can amplify our joy (especially with the right measure of bourbon in our eggnog).

But, the busyness of Christmas can also tear away Band-Aids we’ve carefully placed over losses, failures, loneliness and our general dissatisfaction with the condition of our condition. It’s easy to get caught up in drifts of self-pity this time of year.  Inevitably, when ornaments blossom and December rushes in, I begin to think about Jimmy Stewart’s famous character in crisis: George Bailey.

I’ve become more and more “religious” about viewing the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I can easily identify with the scene where a snow-covered George comes storming in the front door of his home (not just because I have a house full of kids), but because I’ve experienced similar moments.  George curses his broken-down-old house, rants about his crisis at work, shouts at his child’s teacher on the phone and yells at his kids who are innocently doing what kids do: singing and playing, unaware of the stresses of adulthood. He is immersed in his own circumstances. We’ve probably all been there, peering over our proverbial “bridges” of desperation. Most of us can identify with George’s moment…

But “It’s a Wonderful Life” wouldn’t be a story worth telling without the bumbling, guardian angel named Clarence. I used to turn a cynical eye to the arrival of Clarence-like angels.

This holiday season, I have to admit, my notions have changed a bit…

I met a man named Shaun King who has shared his inspiring story with thousands.  Shaun was thrown headfirst into the windshield of his car as it spun like a pinwheel down an icy highway and ultimately barreled into the front of an oncoming truck.  In his forthcoming book, 100!, Shaun describes his hopeless condition in those moments, but recounts a beautiful narrative about a woman who stopped to comfort him, even wrapped his mangled face in a towel to slow his bleeding, and waited for help to arrive.  Shaun’s recovery was miraculous and many people wonder if that Good Samaritan was not in fact a Clarence.

Read the full article at New York Minute Magazine: “Its a Wonderful Life



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