Everything I need to know, I learned from 'It's a Wonderful Life'
Arguably the most iconic Christmas movie of all-time and I have never even written about it for EINTKILF. Look, I finally ran out of ways to spin writing about Home Alone and Love Actually so it is time to relive some classics. Well a classic because next week is the last post of the year which means I’m writing about 2015, not about Christmas movies. N-E-WHO, who doesn’t love It’s a Wonderful Life? It is realistic (I mean, kinda), hopeful, romantic, and kind.
EINTKILF It’s a Wonderful Life
Pay attention to the little things
We get a glimpse into all aspects of George Bailey’s life, and one of the things we learn fresh off the bat is to pay attention. George, though he gets boxed on the ears by him, saves Mr. Gower from accidentally killing someone when he switches diphtheria medicine with poison. I just want to hope that that is nearly impossible to do these days, but regardless. It helps to employ a young child to catch your mistakes if you’re a drunk pharmacist.
I feel like there are some daddy issues I can touch on here as well but you know what? It’s Christmas and I’m trying to be positive.
Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of you
Sweet Mary Hatch loves George from a super young age, even admitting her love for him into his bad ear when they were kids. Even after all of that, George doesn’t give into his feelings for the beautiful, smart woman for ages (or what feels like ages). Even after he yells stuff like, “I don’t want to get married ever to anyone,” she knows better than to believe him and they eventually create a lovely life together. I mean, for the most part.
Mary is a hero, the heart and soul of the film, tbh.
Help each other out
Of course, though all of the money runs out and goes missing or both, George Bailey is still a man the town can count on. When everyone freaks out about their money in a big scary mobbish way, George keeps his cool and reminds each other that they need to stick together.
Treat villains with kindness
Mr. Potter sucks. He is mean and dishonest and a bully. Mr. Potter is extreme, but all of our lives have versions of Mr. Potter. There will always be people in your life that don’t care if everyone dislikes them. Remember that these people are unhappy, deep down, and you should pull a George Bailey and wish them a Merry Christmas anyway.
Impress your love
Since the day I saw It’s a Wonderful Life, I have been waiting for a man to tell me that they will give me the moon. I deserve the moon. Not as much as Mary deserved the moon, but I still deserve it! Or like, a star or something.
Though at one point George screams, “Everything’s wrong!!!” to his wonderful wife, once Clarence takes him through the past, present, and future, George realizes that he is very grateful for everything in his life and in his town. As we all should.
Bread, salt, and wine are life
When George and Mary welcome the Martinis into their new home, they give them the smallest but greatest gift, complete with a beautiful speech.
Who knew bread, salt, and wine could make me cry? (Well, wine def can, but the other two are rare.)
Everyone has a place
It takes a literal angel to prove to George Bailey that his life has value, but you know what? If I could send an angel into the lives of everyone that is doubting that, I certainly would. George gets taken back through moments that would have been drastically different if he had never been born. George saved his brother’s life when he fell through the ice into a frozen pond as a child. George’s wonderful children would have never been born if he had never been born. George’s town wouldn’t have even been the same without him–Pottersville? WOOF.
You have purpose. Your life affects lives around you all of the time. Even in your loneliest days, try to remember that.
Your life is going to go different to how you planned
George Bailey’s life looks much different than he anticipated it would look—but whose doesn’t? My life looks z e r o p e r c e n t what I thought it might look like at 28. I did not think I would be single, living alone with a cat in my college town at almost 30 years old. Sure, there are worse things I could be doing and I know that ultimately, my life is pretty good, but everyone has their moments. It is hard to feel satisfied when your life has gone in an entirely different direction.
But it’s okay. Everything happens for a reason, or at least you can make something out of everything.
Life really is wonderful
Obviously since it’s in the title of the movie, it is pretty clear that it is one of the most important lessons overall. It’s a Wonderful Life is a great reminder though–something that many of us need during the holiday season. George doesn’t have a perfect life. He struggles from a young age. He loses his business, he struggles financially, he’s always picking up the pieces of the people around him (um, am I George Bailey??) and you know what? That’s enough to make anyone finally snap and have a panic attack.
But he comes back from it, thanks to good ol’ Clarence. He realizes–as we all need to–that life can be wonderful. The little things, the things that don’t cost anything, the little flowers your child saves for you in a rainstorm–those are the things that make up your life.
So have a Merry Christmas, you guys.
[Images courtesy MGM]