It's that time of year: time to watch It's a Wonderful Life (or not, as the case may be). Some people love it and make it an annual tradition; others dismiss it as "Capra-Corn"--sappy, silly sentimentality. (There's a Facebook group called The Society of People Who Don't Get All Freaky About "It's a Wonderful Life." I'm not joining. Just call me a freak.☺)
Why do I like the movie so much? Mostly because of what it has to say about vocation and being thankful in all circumstances. The message is one I can always benefit from hearing.
Here's an interesting analysis from Joe Carter of the First Things blog that compares and contrasts the main character of Life, George Bailey, with the main character of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and concludes that the movie--its American icon status notwithstanding--is way more countercultural than the book in celebrating a character that chooses service over self-actualization:
"The Fountainhead of Bedford Falls"
(HT: Gene Veith)