Earning my Wonderful Life wings

Posted By on July 19, 2012

Pacific Continental Bank in my home town of Eugene has an interesting requirement for all new employees going through their orientation: they must watch It’s a Wonderful Life from start to finish.

“The message in that film is the message we want our employees to come to work with every day,” says Dean Hansen, senior vice president & relationship manager. “The idea that our actions make a difference in the community around us.”

I first watched the movie as a home-from-college kid in the mid-1970s. And over the decades I’ve come to appreciate the same thing that bank president does about the movie. It is an hour-and-a-half-long “teachable moment.”

From time to time, over those years, I jotted down some of those lessons. Before long, I realized I had a lesson a week for a year: 52 bite-sized nuggets of wisdom. Thus, the movie can be more than just holiday entertainment—though our family, like so many others, has its traditional December viewing—but can inspire us about how to live. About what really matters. About honor and integrity.

For nearly four decades, I’ve made my living writing books, magazine articles, and newspaper stories with a decided emphasis on people who inspire. George Bailey, Mary Hatch, and the rest of the Wonderful Life crew certainly qualify as examples of that. And, in essence, live on in all who take to heart the quiet but character-enriching lessons found in Bedford Falls.

To that end, I’m excited that on Sept. 12 Thomas Nelson Publishers is releasing 52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life. Question: If only one reader’s life is bettered by the book’s inspiration, uh, might I earn my wings?

About The Author

Bob Welch is a writer and speaker who crafts stories of heart, humor reminding audiences that we're all pebbles in the water, our ripple speading far beyond what we might think. The author of 12 books, he has been honored six times by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for his columns in The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard.


4 Responses to “Earning my Wonderful Life wings”

  1. Denise Purdy says:

    This is great to hear and I love this movie. Hard to believe it was not popular when it was first released. I will look for the devotional book when it is comes out. Thank you.

  2. Judy Wenger says:

    I am SO EXCITED to read this book! Bob’s home spun humor and easy-going manner projects beautifully into print. No doubt this book will be an encouragement to many.

  3. Kathleen Overton says:

    It is kind of hard to believe in today’s world of banking that there could possibly be one that incorporated the lessons from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I would like to believe it is true because it would give cause for hope that things will get better…
    Thanks for the post, it is good to hear about the good things happening. And I am certainly looking forward to both of your books.

  4. Marea Stone says:

    Love your writing and teaching! We attended Beachside Writers’ confewrence in 2011 and came away inspired!

    I am so excited that you wrote about one of my favorite movies! We watch it every year and my 40 year old son has a Christmas village of Bedford Falls that we collected years ago to add to the family decorations and memories. I want to purchase an autographed copy of you book for him for Christmas! Let us know when it is available and I will send a check!

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