Pity for Potter

A few months back I was thinking of Christmas.  Isn’t it funny how it takes forever for Christmas to get here every year, and then….bang!  It’s gone in a flash.

Every year right after Halloween, I start thinking of Christmas movies.  Usually right after the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade they play “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.  Most everyone has seen it, and know how it ends.  Stewart’s character George Bailey finds out at the last of the movie because of the way he has helped people, and had compassion for them throughout their lives, he has many more friends to help him out in his time of need than he ever thought possible.  He ends up with more than enough money to pay his debt to the bank off and everything ends up happily ever after.

But…what happened to Potter?  Potter curmudgeonly old rich banker who from his wheelchair was one of the meanest, nastiest characters to ever to grace a movie.   I often wonder about his life after the end of the movie.  Henry F. Potter, the stingiest and most immoral man in Bedford Falls.  Did he repent his ways after George Bailey won back the Savings and Loan?  Did he double down and continue to torment George Bailey and his family?  Did he die from frustration?

I looked up the meaning of pity and it reads as follows:  “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others.”

“her voice was full of pity”

Synonyms   compassion, commiseration, condolence, sympathy, fellow feeling, understanding;

George’s Father “Pa Bailey” told George near the beginning of the movie that he pitied Potter.  He had been fighting against him for a lifetime to try and keep him from taking over his business, and yet he did not hate him, he pitied him.

I have heard many people say that they don’t want other people’s pity.  The pride that we bear, sometimes false pride, prevents us from accepting the pity of others.  But look again at the meaning of pity.  I know that I have had times when I have needed the sorrow and compassion of others.  Without it I may have been lost.  More people should forget about their “hubris” and accept the compassion of others.  Pity people like Henry F. Potter.  I pity him, even though he is just a character in a movie.

But, more than that, I pity those who are like him in our world today, in our country….in our home town.

My first gut reaction to the “Potters” of the world is often anger and the need for retaliation, but that is my pride…my own hubris getting in my way, getting in my eyes and my mind and clouding my judgment, clouding my need to think things out and do the right thing.  Pity me for that.  And continue to have compassion for anyone and everyone else who needs it.  It’s the only way to really live your life.

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