River City or Pottersville?
"you mean Bedford Falls"
"no I mean Pottersville! Don't you think I know where I live?!"
A reader gave me this idea for a story, one or possibly two years ago....and it seems only appropriate to write at this time of the year. Remember when George Bailly had his epiphany, discovering what life in Bedford Falls would be like if he had not been born? Old man Potter evidently would have filled the vacuum of good with his monopolizing evil if George had never been born. We see "Pottersville" filled with drunkenness and whoring and people living in filth. Because there was no Bailly Savings and Loan and no George Bailly.
Thankfully George Bailly awakes to Zuzu's petals in his pants pocket, Clarence gets his wings and a splendid rendition of Auld Lang Syne is bellowed from the rafters of the Bailly home.
Maybe I'm alone in this, but it does make me wonder what life would be like if I had never been born. I can't imagine it would be much different, other than my kids wouldn't be my kids. I can think of a handful of other things that would or would not be, but it seems like river city would just be river city. No better, no worse. I think that's because I'm not river city's George Bailly. In fact, I'm pretty convinced that river city's George Bailly was never born. River city is in many respects.....Pottersville already. River city lost its chance to be better maybe decades ago, the vacuum of good was never filled. People literally are living in Potter's slums.
I don't believe that all hope is lost, but I wonder if there ever really can be change for good....for the good of the people who live in river city......can it possibly combat the entrenched and inbred ideology that exercises total control? It isn't enough to be in a position to make change for good-one has to understand through human interaction and neighborly living what is good. One has to deny themselves, and their prescribed political associations and principles in order to freshly look at the quality of life the citizenry should enjoy. River city leadership, whether elected or operating due to abdication, has little if any regard or understanding for river city's residents. But they do know how to train the voter.
On this last day of the year I suppose the focus should be on what good one can still do in their life, in the positions which they find themselves in whether dad, son, grandfather, teacher, friend or patriot. We know from another Christmas classic that it is never too late to turn over a new leaf and embrace the good one still can do.
I don't know who was supposed to be river city's George Bailly, but I wish he had been born. Maybe he's still out there and if so, I wish him all the prayers in the world.