In an earlier post, I noted the incredible wisdom of Pollyanna whose gratitude attitude was so strong that it carried her through being orphaned and becoming essentially homeless. Actually, the word “gratitude” doesn’t appear in the book, but that is what the famous Glad Game is all about. Yes, gratitude journals are all the rage these days, but without a clear purpose and understanding, writing your entries can quickly become a chore.
Pollyanna actually ‘reformed’ the entire town, beginning with her aunt Polly. As her favorite Dr. Chilton says,
I don’t know. As near as I can find out it is an overwhelming, unquenchable gladness for everything that has happened or is going to happen. At any rate, her quaint speeches are constantly being repeated to me, and, as near as I can make out, ‘just being glad’ is the tenor of most of them. All is,” he added, with another whimsical smile, as he stepped out on to the porch, “I wish I could prescribe her–and buy her–as I would a box of pills;–though if there gets to be many of her in the world, you and I might as well go to ribbon-selling and ditch-digging for all the money we’d get out of nursing and doctoring,” he laughed, picking up the reins and stepping into the gig.
= = =
In this passage, Pollyanna is dealing with a sick woman who is such a meanie that no one can bear to be around her.
“There!” panted Pollyanna, hastily plucking a pink from a vase near by and tucking it into the dark hair where it would give the best effect. “Now I reckon we’re ready to be looked at!” And she held out the mirror in triumph.
“Humph!” grunted the sick woman, eyeing her reflection severely. “I like red pinks better than pink ones; but then, it’ll fade, anyhow, before night, so what’s the difference!”
“But I should think you’d be glad they did fade,” laughed Pollyanna, “’cause then you can have the fun of getting some more. I just love your hair fluffed out like that,” she finished with a satisfied gaze. “Don’t you?”
= = =
Or, here is a conversation with Dr. Chilton.
I don’t think you have to LEARN how to live. I didn’t, anyhow.”
The doctor drew a long sigh.
“After all, I’m afraid some of us–do have to, little girl,” he said. Then, for a time he was silent. Pollyanna, stealing a glance at his face, felt vaguely sorry for him. He looked so sad. She wished, uneasily, that she could “do something.” It was this, perhaps, that caused her to say in a timid voice:
“Dr. Chilton, I should think being a doctor would, be the very gladdest kind of a business there was.”
The doctor turned in surprise.
“‘Gladdest’!–when I see so much suffering always, everywhere I go?” he cried.
“I know; but you’re HELPING it–don’t you see?–and of course you’re glad to help it! And so that makes you the gladdest of any of us, all the time.”
= = =
Here is what Pollyanna told Nancy, the maid, when she found out that Nancy hated Mondays.
“I know it does sound nutty, ma’am. But let me tell ye. That blessed lamb found out I hated Monday mornin’s somethin’ awful; an’ what does she up an’ tell me one day but this: ‘Well, anyhow, Nancy, I should think you could be gladder on Monday mornin’ than on any other day in the week, because ‘twould be a whole WEEK before you’d have another one!’ An’ I’m blest if I hain’t thought of it ev’ry Monday mornin’ since–an’ it HAS helped, ma’am. It made me laugh, anyhow, ev’ry time I thought of it; an’ laughin’ helps, ye know–it does, it does!”
= = =
In another passage, she tells Nancy that her father the minister found over 800 “rejoicing texts”, as she calls them.
He said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it–SOME.
= = =
Here she’s interacting with a famous town grouch, Mr. Pendleton.
“Do you mean–because you’re so–cross?”
“Thanks for your frankness. Yes.”
Pollyanna laughed softly.
“But you’re only cross OUTSIDE–You arn’t cross inside a bit!”
“Indeed! How do you know that?” asked the man, trying to change the position of his head without moving the rest of his body.
“Oh, lots of ways; there–like that–the way you act with the dog.
Obviously, Mr. Pendleton was very kind to the dog in question, which was all that Pollyanna needed to know.
= = =
Aunt Polly was very hung up on “duty”, which is the only reason she agreed to allow Pollyanna to live in her home. It certainly wasn’t from affection – although that certainly changed.
“Aunt Polly, DID you ever bang doors?”
“I hope–not, Pollyanna!” Miss Polly’s voice was properly shocked.
“Why, Aunt Polly, what a shame!” Pollyanna’s face expressed only concerned sympathy.
“A shame!” repeated Aunt Polly, too dazed to say more.
“Why, yes. You see, if you’d felt like banging doors you’d have banged ’em, of course; and if you didn’t, that must have meant that you weren’t ever glad over anything–or you would have banged ’em. You couldn’t have helped it. And I’m so sorry you weren’t ever glad over anything!”
“PollyAnna!” gasped the lady; but Pollyanna was gone, and only the distant bang of the attic-stairway door answered for her.
= = =
I don’t want you to think that Pollyanna was a “perfect” sunshine child, because she has some bad moments herself, such as why both of her parents had to die, especially her father.
“But I’m bad and wicked, Nancy–awful wicked,” she sobbed. “I just can’t make myself understand that God and the angels needed my father more than I did.”
= = =
If you want the joys of gratitude and happiness in YOUR life, take the time to read Pollyanna and The Glad Game. You will be glad you did. I LOVE this book!