But, somehow, I'd never read Pollyanna until I downloaded it for my kindle last week. Pollyanna is the kind of character, found frequently in books like these, who you would want to smack in the face if you met her in real life for being far, far too cheery and perfect. However, in the candyfloss world she inhabits, she fits in well, and you can't help but love her.
The essence of Pollyanna, for those who don't know, is the Glad Game. The idea is to find something in everything to be glad about, no matter what it is. During the course of the book, she advises an invalid to be glad that everyone else doesn't suffer like her, a servant to be 'gladdest' of all on wash day because it won't come again for another week, and she herself is glad when she loses the use of her legs because she can be glad she once had them.
Like I said, in real life she'd get a slap for being so chirpy.
But, the essence of it is just to be appreciate what you've got instead of complaining about what you don't have. Like, right now, instead of being cross that it's raining again, I can just be happy that it's much warmer, or that I didn't have that far to bike home today. Instead of being annoying at our stupid apartment, I can be glad that I live with John, I'm in Japan, that we're not that far from Sendai, and we only have to live here for a year.
It's pretty cheesy, but I'm genuinely finding it makes me feel happier and more content with the world. To quote another of my beloved children's books, "There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves... so much everywhere in which to delight, and for which to be thankful." (Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery). The Glad Game helps you to have the 'eyes to see it'.
And anyway, it's SPRING. Even in Sendai now. That's an easy thing to play the glad game with.
You're more than welcome to give me the slap that Pollyanna deserves, but why don't you try playing the Glad Game too?!
(PS - For anyone who knows what this means, by writing this post, I JUST LOST THE GAME. You're welcome. For anyone else, welcome to the club.)