Living a Wonderful Life

I hope the holiday season finds all of you joyous, happy, and well. Christmas was big in my house when we were little, but as we grew older, the Christmas tree went away, and then even the presents went away. Our parents might buy us some things, maybe a relative or two would give a gift, but Christmas really faded from our home as a big event. There was one tradition that stayed, however, and continues in my parents’ house to this day. Every year at some point during the holiday season, the movie It’s a Wonderful Life will play in my parents’ home. My favorite part of this experience as an adolescent was watching my father’s amazement at some section of the movie that he would swear he hadn’t seen before, even though we had the movie on videotape. This is a tradition I continue in my home to this day, although I must admit that I often watch the movie alone.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11564
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“Now as an adult, I see some of the problems with it (the black mammy character, the fact that Mr. Potter doesn’t end up in jail, and a bunch of other things).”
That was the way it was back then. But even now we still have butlers and maids working in some homes. Great improvements have been made. People are more aware now of how foolish we humans were. And as for now it is best to not even see others by their color of skin or different body shapes. It is best to just see everyone as individuals, as humans, as God’s creation and leave it at that. The only race is the human race.
There are still some who have the Mr. Potter attitude though. As long as we live in this sinful world they will exist, and communism and socialism will never end that. It would only displace it.

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i sometimes say to people that being a violin Teacher is the best job in the world, especially at Xmas, since all your students, and even some of their friends and relatives visiting for the holidays, decide it’s a good thing to bring you presents…i have a huge 10-foot tree (fake, white, built-in lights) that’s now overwhelmed with presents…the most striking present was brought last week by my youngest, and littlest, student, who’s already very competitive…he came through the door with this present that’s bigger than him, and he had a bit of a hard time trudging it to the tree…he made me promise that i’d like his present better than anyone else’s…

Xmas is also a time when i get cards and e-cards from students who are now in grad school, or working somewhere…it’s quite amazing how well they remember details that happened yrs ago, and how things i said to them then are influencing them now…

but Xmas is also a good time to reflect, as this article does so well, on what really matters in life…this year, like last year, i won’t go to Toronto to visit with family…but i’m on my way to Vancouver, where i’ll have plenty of time to read, which i just don’t get enough time to do these days…hopefully i’ll even memorize a new biblical book, or at least a chapter or two - we’ll see…but i’m looking forward to the milder weather in Vancouver, and escape Calgary’s -25 C deep freeze…i’m sure i’ll find someone to talk to in the lobby of my hotel, and also place glow tracts and other missionary material wherever i go…i’ll also be handing out cash to the homeless in Vancouver’s downtown…Vancouver is the drug capital of Canada, due to it’s mild weather…i find that many people stuck in this habit just need a helping hand, and a demonstration that someone cares…

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Thank you, Jason, for a trip down memory lane. Our family watched the movie yesterday as per tradition in our home. There have been times, though, that I have watched it alone as well. Despite the flaws of the performance the theme and moral of the story resonates deeply for me today. Even when I can recite the lines in each scene you to see something perhaps not perceived before. For me I was struck uncomfortably this year over the black mammy character, but it was 1946 after all and a renewed sensitivity has come to me over the racial clashes of the past few years. To think, too, that the film for Mr. Stewart was a catharsis for his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from WWII is also on my mind as I watch him bring to life Mr. Bailey. The tears in the bar were real and erupting from the demons a military soul was to keep a strong face before others.

I think Potter escaped jail because he would have a plausible denial of the machinations that sent Mr. Bailey toward suicide. His darkness brought the light of the truth that character counts in the end more than how much of the county you own.

And, indeed, community spirit and cohesion seems to be all but lost today. I grew up with a mom that went next door to borrow a cup of sugar or a few drops of vanilla extract to get a recipe completed. A time when moms were sentinels of the neighborhood for which few offspring could evade.

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The irony of your conclusion is that true communism, which has only truly existed for one short period of time on the earth, is not the evil people proport to be against. In Acts 2, in the early Christian church, the best description of communism is presented. It was where the followers all pooled their resources and distributed them to meet the needs of each individual within their group. Today, we associate communism with the Soviet Union and China and other totalitarian regimes, which are nothing more than dictatorships. They are no more communist than Hitler’s fascists. It is a total misuse of the term communism, which word was derived from commune, which means a sharing for the benefit of everyone. EGW points out that at the very end of time, the righteous will be very much like those early Christians who lived right after the death of Christ. The selfishness and “I want to keep what’s mine” mentality will have to give way to “what is in the best interest of my fellow believers”. The farther our thinking is from this ideal, the harder it will be for us to accept.

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