Lighthouses in a foggy world

That great Frank Capra film, Meet John Doe, is memorable for many reasons.  Its timing:  1941.  The actors:  Edward Arnold,  Walter Brennan, Gary Cooper, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart, Barbara Stanwyck.  The themes:  the common man, democracy, individual freedom, avarice, true love, a redemptive Christmas event.

For me, one aspect stands out this year.  It is a phrase from the script:  “lighthouses in a foggy world.”  Whether it’s used to describe the people who gave voice and vigor to our country’s early days — as it does in the film — or to remind us of the figures around whom our religious holidays should revolve, to celebrate every lighthouse in our own foggy worlds might just be the best gift of all, today. 

Merry Christmas.

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