Thursday, December 25, 2014

That Same Small Town in Each of Us

Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives.
When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? 
- Clarence Odd Body, A S 2
It's a Wonderful Life

Merry Christmas.  

I hope that wherever Christmas greets you this morning and wherever you greet it, you are in the company of at least some of those who you love most of all and, perhaps, more importantly, you are in their hearts as they are in yours so that even if geography has separated you, it cannot keep you apart.  

Given my admittedly disagreeable nature - just yesterday my secretary told me that I remind her of "Grumpy Cat" - and the fact that while I have been called many things in my life (the lion's share of which have been unflattering and deservedly so) one thing I have never been called is "naive", it may come as a bit of a surprise that It's a Wonderful Life is not simply my favorite Christmas film but is, in fact, one of my favorite all-time films.  

If you are fortunate enough that you have never awakened a single day in your life - including but not limited to Christmas - feeling something akin to how George Bailey felt standing on the bridge in the moment or two before Clarence jumped into the river, then you are indeed fortunate.  "Quicksand" moments come for all of us, I reckon.  I have certainly experienced my share of them.  They are in fact what brought me here in the first place.  And they are, still, a significant part of what keeps me coming back day after day.  

Contrary to popular mythology, today is in fact not a day about presents.  Rather, it is a day about presence.  The presence of those people in your life who help you conquer the day-to-day and give you the sustenance you need to win the day each and every day.  The presence of those people in your life for whom you provide precisely the same sustenance.   

If and when you are fortunate enough to have won membership in such a system of mutually beneficial reciprocity, then work hard always to maintain it - and beyond mere maintenance - to strengthen it.  Carry it with you wherever you go.  

Be it Bedford Falls...

...or Memphis.

Merry Christmas. 


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