Monday, December 26, 2016

3 Underrated Life Lessons from ‘White Christmas’

One of the most revered holidays classics, ‘White Christmas’ is a timeless, cinematic confection rich in star power, memorable moments, and, of course, incredible choreography. Granted, the plot is forced, trite, and over-reliant on ex-machinas and sing-along potential; however, this doesn’t mean the movie lacks savory dialogue.

Like most Christmas movies, ‘White Christmas’ shrewdly embeds life lessons within its narrative. Yet, while the picture may be more known for its entertainment value, one can find more meaning behind the scenes upon further inspection.

Thus, in the spirit of going behind the curtain, here are three underrated life lessons inspired by ‘White Christmas’.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Davis: “My dear partner, when what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting, whatever it is you've got left.”
Bob Wallace: “When I figure out what that means I'll come up with a crushing reply.”

For those unfamiliar with ‘White Christmas’, your two male protagonists, Phil and Bob, are polar opposites. On one hand, you have Bob who is cautious and relationally hesitant; on the other, you have Phil who is audacious and whimsical. With salt and vinegar personalities, it’s not surprising to see the two collide in witty discords at inopportune moments. Yet, while Bob is the more discerning of the two, it’s Phil’s risk-taking gall and persuasion that puts Bob in position to find what he’s looking for. Thus, when Phil calls out Bob as diffident to companionship, the stage is set for Bob to consider Phil’s words not to mention advance the plot.




Bottom line: If the best time is now/if the better judgment involves the riskier road (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6), that doesn't make it wrong. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Wallace: “So if you're worried and you can't sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep.”

I’ve never been a fan of counting sheep. Even as a little kid, I found it obnoxiously stimulating; however, as an adult, I’ve found counting blessings to be one of the most refreshing exercises one can make. You see…often times, our mental computations lead us to discouragement as opposed to thanksgiving. We’ll count the cost, what we still need, and what we don’t have, but when it comes to what we’ve been divinely given, we forget. For Bob, counting blessings was not only a catchy jingle, but also a contagious habit contributing to his sunny demeanor and those around him.


Bottom line: If there’s anything worth counting in life, it’s your blessings (Psalm 103:2). 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Davis: [about Bob's idea to help the General] “I think it's ridiculous, impossible, and insane!”
Bob Wallace: “Anything else?”
Phil Davis: “Yes, I wish I'd thought of it first.”

When it comes to helping others, we tend to operate within our means. We’ll draft a gameplan suitable to our bandwidth and executive according to what’s doable. But when it comes to a giving heart, the best approach maximizes generosity by going beyond what’s possible. I love Phil’s reply to Bob’s question here. For starters, you see maturity in Bob’s character for daring to give big. In addition, you note Phil and Bob are more in sync from being united for a special cause. Fittingly the storyline changes at the point both characters commit their decisions to helping someone else. Had Bob and/or Phil continued being overly concerned with their career pathway, they likely would’ve missed the chance to honor their friend's legacy.


Bottom line: We only have what we give. So why not outdo each other in doing good (Hebrews10:24)? Not only will this enliven your other-centeredness, but it will also stretch your capacity to give.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

B                    O                    N                    U                    S
Betty Haynes: [singing on the train] “I wanna wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow.”

Phil DavisBob WallaceBetty HaynesJudy Haynes: [singing] “... And may all your Christmases be white. Merry Christmas!”

As a lover of winter and all things snow, it wouldn’t be right if I left off a quote or two from the movie's long list of wintry references. Here's to these lines being prophetic during the next few months in middle Tennessee. 😁



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

No comments: