This I Believe

Caity - St. Paul, Minnesota
Entered on December 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

For as long as I can remember, my dad has made us watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year around Christmas. When I was little, I didn’t really get why he was so obsessed with it, and then as I got into junior high I just thought it was “totally uncool” and usually tried to find some lame excuse to abstain from the family viewing. But that didn’t work—I was always dragged back into the living room where I sat with the whole gang on the couch as my dad video-taped us all. (Apparently it was some sort of “family moment.”) But as I got older I began to appreciate the movie more and more. It’s a Wonderful Life actually has a lot to teach us, I’ve found.

The angel Clarence says to George, the main character, at one point, “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?” This line points to one of the central lessons that George learns in It’s a Wonderful Life, and that we can learn too: More than monetary security and success, more than career advancement, more than all things material, in fact, relationships matter—how we interact with one another determines our success and happiness as individuals and as members of a community. Once we realize the interconnectedness between us all, good things are bound to happen.

I believe in being a people person. I feed off of social interaction and firmly believe that strong, honest, interpersonal relationships can cure the world of most of its problems. At the very least, good relationships are healing among individuals—who’s to say that this same theory can’t be practiced on a global scale?

I am the third oldest of eight crazy children, and the daughter of two incredible parents. We are perhaps the loudest family you’ll ever meet, but I’m okay with that. I like being loud, I love my family, and more than anything, I love to meet new people. I consider myself to be a rather outgoing people person—this includes having some pretty good people skills, and many of these skills I have learned from my family, whether it is through watching movies together, teaching my little sister to read, or playing competitive soccer with my older sister. I believe that I have the ability to really connect with others and this is something I do not intend to ignore. I can foster relationships with those I don’t know very well in order to make things happen, and I will make things happen.

I’ve learned to live with an acute awareness of interpersonal relationships, and George’s realization is a major underpinning of this philosophy. Like George, I’ve learned that my life touches so many other lives, so I will take advantage of this to create powerful, lasting relationships. I believe that if people can communicate and build strong relationships, anything can be done.