who’s the real hero

Ok, when I read the following story I realized that it said it all–
there was nothing I could add or even say…because this story does indeed say it all…
perfectly…
Please enjoy…..

The Quiet Hero Of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’
(Hint: It’s NOT Jimmy Stewart)
Entertainment Now
FOX News — Paul Batura


(Christmas classic celebrates its 70th anniversary)

As we approach the 71st anniversary of Frank Capra’s perennial Christmas classic
“It’s A Wonderful Life,” I think it’s time to reexamine the film’s heroes.
The result might surprise you.

As a child, I assumed the hero was Jimmy Stewart’s wholesome hometown character,
George Bailey. The American Film Institute agreed, listing George as the ninth
greatest screen hero of all time. After all, the whole point of the movie is to
show us what life in Bedford Falls would be like without George.

We quickly discover it would be pretty grim – a dark and foreboding shantytown
owned by an evil millionaire named Henry F. Potter,
a miserly character played perfectly by Lionel Barrymore.
The film revolves around George,
the congenial and affable everyman who bravely stands up to Mr. Potter’s greed.
The hero had to be George, or so I thought.

In my teens and twenties, when my faith became my own and I began studying
more closely the mysterious and spiritual side of life,
I thought the hero had to be Henry Travers’ character,
Clarence Odbody, Angel Second Class.

It’s Clarence who saves George – so that George can continue to help save
everybody else. Though theologically questionable,
the thought of a guardian angel is comforting.
Plus, it’s Christmas and angels play a significant part in the Yuletide story.
For years, Clarence had my vote.

But now that I’m in my forties, and as a husband and father,
I’ve come to realize that the biggest hero of the movie isn’t George or Clarence.

The biggest hero is actually a heroine, Mary Hatch Bailey,
played by Donna Reed.
She’s George’s poised and unflappable wife and the mother of their four children,
Janie, Pete, Tommy and Zuzu.

Here’s why:

Mary is patient: George and Mary are about to head off on their honeymoon
just as there’s a run on the Bailey Building and Loan.
George abruptly cancels the romantic trip to New York City and Bermuda,
instead spending their savings to keep the business solvent.
His bride doesn’t complain. She pledged to be his wife for “richer or poorer” –
and Mary quickly keeps her sacred vow.

Mary is long-suffering:
The newlywed couple moves into a dilapidated and drafty old house.
Does Mary want more?
She never lets on but instead gets to work making the rickety house a home.
Later, when George foregoes a big payout by declining an offer to sell the
business to Mr. Potter, Mary doesn’t criticize her husband’s idealism.
Instead, Mary throws herself into the care and nurturing of the children.
She’s content.

Mary is responsible:
With World War II raging and her husband deferred from military service due
to his poor hearing, Mary eagerly volunteers to do her part for the country.
Despite being a busy mother of four, we see Mary running a local branch of the USO.

Mary is a woman of prayer:
When George, stressed over the missing $8,000 now owed to Mr. Potter,
rages red-hot and hurls insults in every direction on Christmas Eve,
it’s Mary who keeps her cool.
After George storms out of the house,
Mary urges the children to pray for their father.
She prays, too, and she also gets to work.

Mary is a woman of quiet action:
It would be easy to sulk and sour in the midst of the family’s traumatic day,
but after urging the children to pray,
Mary immediately picks up the phone and rallies the help of their family and friends.
When George returns with a new and improved outlook,
Mary doesn’t lace into him or even question where he’s been.
“You have no idea what happened to me!” George cries.
To which a smiling Mary, about to welcome in an adoring and jubilant crowd of friends, responds,
“You have no idea what’s happened.”

At a time in history when popular culture is being reminded again about
the importance of respecting women,
the many positive attributes of Donna Reed’s seven-decades-old character affirm
anew what William Ross Wallace first wrote in 1865:
“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

Heroism manifests itself in many forms in the overlooked or understated people
of this world, most especially spouses who sit outside the spotlight and mothers
who sacrifice on a daily basis for their children.

Christmas is a wonderful time to remember that greatness often comes quietly,
as it did in the form of a helpless baby to another quiet woman named Mary.

21 comments on “who’s the real hero

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    I absolutely love this analogy. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Well done SC! I always felt the quiet hero was George’s mom… she put the idea in his head to go call on her. She always knew seem to know how she felt about her son… 🙂

  3. Lynda says:

    There’s great truth in that! In our day it may be reversed as many women are busy with demanding careers and it is the male spouse who accommodates them. This too can work very well as couples become more flexible about their roles. But Mary is the great role model for us all.

  4. Oh, I love this! I see why it impacted you. She demonstrated such a godly perspective throughout… a great model for all of us. Thank you for sharing it with us, dear Julie!

    • I had not thought of it like that before—but Mary was much the quiet hero of the story and as Vincent pointed out, so was George’s mom—
      Mom’s and their roles this time of year seem much more focused…..
      hugs Lynn

  5. Citizen Tom says:

    “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

    ― Ronald Reagan

  6. Love this post! You’re a great storyteller! 🙂 ❤ xoxoxoxoxo

  7. Tricia says:

    Great post on one of my all time favorite movies! I’ve always like Mary’s character, now I do even more. 🙂

    • I know, I can’t wait to see it again this year, that is if my husband will give in as he doesn’t like the seeing of something 20 thousand times—kind of how he feels with The Sound of Music—his eyes roll out of his head! but I do want to see it again with this rather new perspective!

  8. RobbyeFaye says:

    I love your perspective, and I believe you are right! I had never really thought of it that way, yet Mary, in all she did, was the glue, if you will, of everything George was and did.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings~

  9. SLIMJIM says:

    I need to watch this film again with an eye for the observation made in the Fox piece you shared here. Very good point.

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