Have you ever seen It’s a Wonderful Life? It’s a movie made in 1946. Jimmy Stewart plays the role of the main character, George Bailey. It’s often shown several times on different channels around Christmas-time, which is appropriate as the final scene takes place on Christmas Eve.
If you’ve never seen the movie but think that someday you might, then stop reading this post and come back and finish reading after you’ve seen the movie.
For those of you who have seen it, I want you to remember the final scene. George, surrounded by his friends, is toasted as “the richest man in town.” He has money but, more than that, he has friends. Many, many friends. These friends, when told by George’s wife, Mary, that George needed help, “didn’t ask any questions.” They just set about helping.
I have a friend who is hesitant to ask for help. I understand that because I am, too. You can get all psychological if you want and say this means something about her psyche or my personality type or whatever. I just know that when she is in need, she exhausts herself first before reaching out to others.
She recently found herself in a situation where she needed help. She was moving out of a very large home into a smaller home with her three young sons. No husband or brothers to help. The movers she was thinking of hiring sufficiently creeped her out so that she nixed that plan.
“I can do this myself!,” she thought.
But another friend of hers, (we’ll call her Mary), said, “No, you won’t. I’ll get others to help. No biggie.” And Mary rallied the troops. She called and e-mailed and Facebook-posted “Our friend needs help!” She had a spreadsheet created, shifts posted, donuts and coffee procured, and she was ready.
AND WE SHOWED UP. Even one woman who had thrown her back out earlier in the week arrived and said, “I can carry things out one at a time!” And she did.
When I was there that VERY HOT Saturday morning, running up and down flights of stairs, bruising my legs all up and only eating one doughnut (those of you who know me know what a sacrifice that is!), I looked around me and saw the other thirty people helping out. Were we being paid? No. Someone needed our help, and without a question asked, we showed up. I realized that though my friend was moving out of a two-story with a basement which sported over 5,000 square feet and a swimming pool, on over a half-acre lot, into a two-story, 1942 sq. ft. home, with a storage shed and less than a third-acre lot, she was the richest person I knew.
She is the richest person I know. And even though it doesn’t feel like it to her right now, she is smack-dab-in-the-middle of a wonderful life.