Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wonderful Life?

So, I'm finally getting around to watching It's a Wonderful Life this year. I'm a strange combination of cynical and sappy, so this movie makes my brain hurt. I can't decide how to feel about it. Do I love that the end shows how important a person can be without fully realizing it--and that being important doesn't involve doing anything grandiose? Or do I hate that it ends with George still never getting to follow his dreams of traveling and architecture?

That's the thing for me. I think everyone should be able to follow their own dream, but that would all too often mean that no one is taking care of anyone. We'd all be so focused on ourselves that those in need would be crushed under our self-centered weight. So that means that someone has to be the one to do the propping up, the taking care of, the seeing to, the watching over. And while I suppose that might be someone's 'dream,' I think it's fair to say that's rare. So that means a lot of people are living George Bailey's life instead of Harry Bailey's. Only who knows how many are ever going to at least get the thanks that George got?

I don't know what any of that really means. I can't in good conscience ask the George Baileys to stop the propping up, but I can no more ask them to sacrifice any dream they sacrificed to make it happen. Where does that leave us?

I guess it leaves me lucky that I've been able to follow most all my own dreams--traveling abroad, becoming a professor, etc. I'm Harry Bailey.

No comments: