“No man is a failure, who has friends”.

These simple words written inside an old beat-up copy of “Tom Sawyer” that were presented to George Bailey speak volumes to us. If you’re at all familiar with the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, you remember Clarence the Guardian Angel giving this present to Stewart’s character at the end of the movie. George Bailey had just been shown what life would have been like for his family and friends had he not been born. He came to find out that even though times were tough, he had led a life that impacted countless others.

I love this movie because it truly shows the value of each person. We all create a ripple effect in the world; impacting people around us in so many ways. Regardless of our vocation, the size of our family, or where we live, we are blessed to be able to touch someone else, even without knowing it. You might be a youth coach, a business associate, or even a supportive voice in difficult times. You play an important role to your family and friends and they in return play a great role to you.

Last Saturday, my wife Barb and I went out grocery shopping for the Christmas basket that out local St. Vincent DePaul Society puts together for needy families. It’s one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season. We certainly don’t know the family of four we just provided Christmas dinner for, or why they are in the situation they are in. It doesn’t matter. What we come away with is the knowledge that in a very small way, we were able to give of ourselves that someone might be better off. It reminded me a little of another Christmas favorite, “A Christmas Carol”, when Ebeneezer Scrooge sends the prize turkey to the Cratchit family anonymously. “Mankind is our Business’, right?

Take a look at your life. See all the people who have made a difference you as well as those you have impacted. We don’t have the same chance as George Bailey to see what life would have been without us. However, we should always remember how fortunate we are, whether in good or bad times, that we have friends and family that love and care about us. Every day we have chances to be a positive source for someone. Let’s take every opportunity we have to accept those challenges.

After all, it is a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas!

Dan

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