“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears that this is true.”
…. James Branch Cabell

It’s that time of year again; the season for evaluation, joy, stress, goodwill toward men or downright indifference. It all depends on one’s point of view, not necessarily on one’s immediate circumstances.

Trevor Lautens opined in a recent column, “Practising Christians greet it with joy, but every year (wait for it) the media recycle the stock story that many people are pitched into loneliness and sometimes terminal depression by Christmas.”

But then again, the media does a fine job of discrediting anything that seems to focus on positive solutions to seemingly overwhelming problems. Is it any wonder that more and more people are becoming cynical regarding the news?

If news is defined as information about something not previously known, one could suppose that the daily papers are definitely delivering news, even if what was not previously known becomes in fact erroneous reporting.

Never was media bias more evident than in the daily newspaper and television reports following the shooting of abortionist Garson Romalis. Fingers were immediately pointed at pro-lifers, even though there is still no suspect in the shooting and police still have no leads. From there the campaign of disinformation went into full swing in an attempt to discredit the entire pro-life movement in one fell swoop. While the pro-life movement has been harshly and unfairly accused, there has been a subtle attack on Christianity, to say the least.

So, as the cold winds swept across the province leaving snow and freezing rain in its path, so the media hype driving a blizzard across the pro-life movement left a chill in the hearts of many pro-lifers.

Like many of you, we were caught in both the physical and emotional storm. With a leaking roof, report cards arriving from school, children honing their arguing skills, and depression over the daily news, we were D-O-W-N, caught in the proverbial storm.

Not to worry, we said. Something good will happen S-O-O-N, we concluded, as we forlornly sat down and threw our hands up into the cold, still air.

Surprise! Surprise! Just when we were about to abandon ship, a friend stopped by and gave us a movie to watch, with the words, “You’ll appreciate this.” Thank you, we replied, giving each other a cynical look and set it aside to watch when we were “in the mood.”

When it became obvious that time was never going to come, we inserted the tape into the VCR and lo and behold, we were hooked.

A classic movie set in the Depression, it tells the story of George Bailey, who, as a young man, dreams of the great things he will do for the world, the fame and glory he will soon achieve. But when responsibility comes before his dreams, he accepts the challenge and gives up college to manage the family business and shoulders the troubles of the small town. Marrying his childhood sweetheart and raising a family, he gives up his dreams. When the company’s bankroll falls into the hands of a ruthless competitor, George finds himself broke and considers his life a failure.

While thinking of ending it all, he is stopped by his guardian angel sent to earth to save him.

Clarence (the angel who must earn his wings) takes George on a final tour of Bedford Falls and show him how the town would have been had he never been born.

Suddenly George realizes all the things he thought were insignificant were really extraordinary in the realm of things, that he was blessed with a family. Rushing home, he cries with excitement entering “the drafty old house.” There he is greeted with all the friends he has helped, who now in turn help him replace the lost bankroll. A note left from Clarence states, “He who has friends can never be a failure.” George decides it is a wonderful life after all. Just then a bell rings.

Having seen the movie in childhood, it was strange that what we remembered was “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”

This classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, at a time when family and family values were in vogue. It was a time when all life was precious and life was a gift not to be dismissed lightly.

So, this Christmas, when political correctness rears its ugly head, remember how life may have been had you not been born, and remember no matter what the newspapers say, Someone up there likes you.

Merry Christmas and don’t forget, something good is going to happen to you sooner than you think!