Failings grow fat under the ego's microscope and accolades elude.
If left unchecked, one might actually share the lament of George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life." That his life has been ruinous and perhaps it would be better if he had never been born.
That's when, angel-in-training, Clarence, arrives eager to earn his wings. To show George his efforts are meaningful. Quoting from the movie, Clarence says to George, "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"
Doesn't he, indeed.
Introspection is good. A life examined is better than not. But sometimes it can lead to ruminations that take you out of the reality of Bedford Falls and land you smack in the middle of Pottersville.
But, remember, Clarence is there to help by teaching.
So, instead of jumping down from bridges, stop! Find the one that sees the gleam of your good deeds under the dust and say like George did:
George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?
As I make my race plans for 2009, I will remember that you, dear reader and podcast listener, will be out there with me too. Whether physically, or virtually, you and I will share the course, using our freedom and our health to benefit others as we race like hell back to Bedford Falls.