It’s a Wonderful Life is the Christmas Carol of our culture, of our country, and of our community. As in the Dickens classic, our story can be overly sentimental in parts, but most of this American story is both timeless and true-to-life.
Although decades have passed since the story was first told on film – the movie was released in 1946 – the subject of suicide then, as now, is an unnerving one for the public and for private conversation. George Bailey’s tale echoes some of the harsh realities of everyday life, and the miracle, courtesy of an angel, is not so much that George is offered a second chance, but that he is brave enough to take it. The life-saving gift of George Bailey’s friends’ generosity will not guarantee his happiness forever.
Another harsh reality is that you find out who your true friends are when you are in times of trouble. Who has enough friends to fill a room on a cold night and willingly empty their wallets to save your hide, as George Bailey discovered? Yet, you may find if you add up all those people who wanted to see the best in life for you, who have unselfishly helped you, however briefly or for whatever length of time, that you have met sufficient angels to fill up a whole house, not just a room – from the honest mechanic who was able to rescue you and your car in an emergency, or a favorite aunt who simply and openly loved you, or all the volunteers who came to our aid after hurricanes Katrina, Isaac, and Sandy.
Add them up, all of them.
Now… go out and earn your wings!
Adapted by Stephen James from an original text by Donald Wagner. ©2012 Donald Wagner
Stephen James, producer and director of the Annual NOLA benefit Radio-play "It's a Wonderful Life" since its inauguration in 2009) talks about the movie and the radio-play, with special guest Bill Lee (who plays the James Stewart role of George Bailey in the annual NOLA benefit production of the same name).
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at E.Jefferson Parish Library, Napoleon Avenue, Metairie.
Admission: free. Details at: www.facebook.com/events/162428337233332/
"Who has enough friends to fill a room on a cold night and willingly empty their wallets to save your hide?"
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