December 24, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

I love this Christmas movie. 

It evokes the most basic of human values -- the contribution and difference we make in the lives of those around us. 

Sometimes we know the impact of our actions on others.  Sometimes we don't.  Sometimes we thank people for how they have helped or inspired us.  Sometimes we don't. 

Often the impact is felt after the fact.  We're off and running in the busy-ness of our 24/7 lives -- many times overlooking the opportunity to bestow gratitude on those who have had a favorable impact on our progress, comfort, relief or success. 

The gesture might be large or small.  It could be a gift of time, expertise or sharing.  Or simply an offer to help -- providing a lifeline or back-up plan.  Add them all up and where would we be without the interaction, inspiration and involvement of others?  It's the ultimate form of humanity -- a living bucket brigade of support and encouragement that passes from one to another.  And isn't it interesting that we feel a similar sense of satisfaction -- whether we are giving or receiving?   

In tough times especially, we cherish such moments that crystalize a sense of joy.  It's the perfect fit -- a special moment in the day.  Whether we're surviving or thriving, it's due to the connectivity and contribution of others -- beloved family, close friends, respected colleagues or maybe even the kindness of strangers. We humbly receive input and assistance.  We are duty-bound to pay it forward.  It's not an entitlement. 

Like Jimmy Stewart in the movie, you don't need a big financial balance sheet to be the richest person in town.  And isn't that what this time of year is all about?

What a wonderful time during this holiday season to thank those near and far who've made a difference at some point in the existence we're privileged to enjoy.

It's a wonderful life, indeed!