Thursday, December 23, 2021
Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year to reconnect with family and friends, enjoy some time off from work, and give thanks for our many blessings. Frank Capra’s holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life emphasizes this point. The movie takes us through the life of George Bailey, who lives his life to make a difference. George is the voice of the hard working people of Bedford Falls, and through his actions, he is able to keep one powerful individual, Mr. Potter, from taking over and exploiting the citizens of the town for his own gain. As the movie progresses, George faces a crisis and begins to question whether or not he matters at all, until his guardian angel, Clarence, shows him what the world would be like if he were never born. Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen this movie, George discovers how important he is to everyone in the town. He also discovers that he is not alone, and the town comes together to help George through his crisis.
I can’t help but see the parallel between this story and our Union, which is the George Bailey in our version of It’s a Wonderful Life. These past two years have brought a great deal of change and chaos to our world. The value of our Union can sometimes get lost in the negativity brought on by the pandemic and differing individual ideals. Therefore, it is a good time to take a moment and reflect on how membership in our Union has helped shape our current working conditions. Without our Union, where would we be during this pandemic? Would our teaching day be the same length? Would there be such a thing as COVID days? Would we have been given a seat at the table to help shape the changes brought on by the pandemic to our classrooms, teaching day and remote instruction? The obvious answer to all of those questions is of course a resounding NO! It is important to recognize what our Union voice has enabled us to achieve during this difficult time. It is critical that we continue to be active Union members who are united in a common goal, so our voice continues to be heard. As George Bailey faced a crisis, our strength as a Union is similarly being challenged by the many divisive issues in society. Do not let the Mr. Potters of the world divide us. Just like the townspeople came together to help George, we must also work together to retain the strength of our Union. So during this holiday season, let us give thanks for Unions and our role as Union members. Remember, “It’s a Wonderful Work-Life” because our unity ensures it!