Saturday, November 17, 2007

More Pollyanna Than Pollyanna

"See the prism! See how it breaks the light into a rainbow?!!! Raindrops do the same."

It's such a Pollyanna world view.

When my mind offers me thousands of nuances, why would I choose any but the most beautiful? It seems that the times I do are times that I'm off-balance, off-center internally. It seems at those times, I'm not thinking really about the world, but instead that I'm thinking about my place in it.

She was a child -- Pollyanna -- a character in a story. She's become a stereotype of "what's too good to be true and too sweet to take seriously." Yet, supposing a person had her world view, lifting up, looking up, without unconditions or expectations that the world would respond in a negative way. Could just the believing and being make it true?

Seeing a rainbow inside a raindrop is more than "Pollyanna," it's a choice for hope and beauty. It's a choice for a better future and chance for human understanding. Even the real-life Ben Franklin knew that where we focus is a predictor of who and what we will be.

So, I'll hang my heart on the story of little girl with relentless positivity. I'll value my resiliance and not worry about being naive.

I don't suppose I'll ever be more Pollyanna than Pollyanna, but I sure can aspire to be.

--me liz strauss, Letting me be


Margaret said...

LOL, I've been called Pollyanna so many times. Insultingly most of the time as I want to be so optimistic. But that's ok - beats being a grouch.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Margaret!
Yep, we seem to think being positive is in some way "less," but I don't buy it. I'm with you. It sure beats attracting folks who want to commiserate. :)

brad4d said...

the good in both extremes is the theme to me in this B. Franklin quote, "I so admire the truly humble that if I were one, I'd be so proud!" May we never lose the child-like optimism and enthusiasm.

ME Strauss said...

Thank you for introducing me to that Ben Franklin quote. It's one I didn't know and it brought such a smile. :)

Deb Call said...

What would this world be like without Pollyanna? More dark and cynical, I'm sure. It takes guts to look up. Thanks for looking up, Liz!

Dr.John said...

In the real world there is good and evil. If you choose only to see the evil you will live depressed. Far better to live seeing only the good and thus always being filled with joy.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Deb,
I don't know, for me, it takes more guts to look down in that hole and take on a life of rain clouds and sad ideas. I suppose it's matter of what we're build to tolerate and where we're willing to get our "payback."

Thank you for thinking I'm brave.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dr. John,
I don't how I feel about good and evil. I suppose I believe in both, but I've never felt qualified to tell for sure which is which. :)

jen_chan, writer said...


I don't think seeing the world in such a perspective is bad. We need a little more of that, it seems. It's just depressing to hear, watch or read negative news. It's alright to take a break and just look at the beautiful things in life. There's always a silver lining, remember?

Trée said...

Happy Thanksgiving Liz. :-)

ME Strauss said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Tree!

easywriter said...

Wishing, dreaming, hoping. Optimism lights the way leaves glimmers of hope in the darkest days.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Easy!
That's so true and so beautiful!

Janus Torrell said...

Yeah people use it as an insult...because being a stick in the mud is so much a Pollyanna we need em

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus!
People use it as an insult, but the ones who do are cranky and unhappy. I'll take their insults any day. :)

Sara Ch. said...


I don't think I will ever get over the timing of your posts. A few Saturday mornings ago, Pollyanna was on TV and I watched it for the first time since I was a kid. Boy is that movie fraught with meaning. I understood, when I was younger, that Pollyanna was inspirational because of her positivity and that she could cheer people up, but it's so much more than that.

I think being pessimistic and sharing misery just makes things worse and is much easier than being positive and trying to improve things.

My roommate's son is eleven. I never thought at this point in my life I would be living with an 11-year-old, but most days I am very, very grateful for it. He can find something exciting, hopeful or happy in any situation and he makes it impossible for anyone in the house to become a "Negative Nancy." If only more grown-ups were that way...


ME Strauss said...

I can't believe it took me a day to get back to this.

I haven't seen Pollyanna in years, but obviously it had a lasting effect on me. We used to sing the songs from the movie when we were kids.

As each minute passes I realize more that every bad thought only leads to seeing and feeling bad things. I don't need that in my life. Sounds like you don't either. :)

Thank you so much for coming over. :)

Betty said...

Dear Liz,

Relentless positivity sounds good to me, like that of a child not yet ruined, with her inner knowing still intact.


Joseph said...

You know, I never run for the bus either.

Liz Strauss said...

Hi Betty,
Sorry it took so long to answer. I'm in the UK.

I think we're all born authentic and whole . . . to me that also means positive. It's holding onto that -- what a challenge. :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Joseph!

HI Ron,
I suppose I might run if it were the only bus going somewhere to see someone I love. . . . :)

Nah, then it wouldn't be a bus. :)