Recently I had two of my granddaughters, both 11 years old, visiting. Being cousins they have known each other all their lives but live 3.5 hours away in neighboring states. When they get to be together it’s as if no time has kept them apart. They really love each other and, of course, I love them too! It’s special for me to have just the two of them for some girl bonding time. On this particular date-day, we had lots of fun doing a variety of things but the best part of the whole day was the movie we ended the night on. We watched Pollyanna.
The Disney version of Pollyanna was released in 1960–that’s 58 years ago. And yet the message is still as relevant today or maybe even more so! When we see all the bad and wrong in the world it’s as if there isn’t any good. But, there is good! When we see all there is to complain about, it’s as if there’s nothing to be grateful for. But, there is soo much to be grateful for! When we watch all the negative news, it’s as if there isn’t anything positive happening. But, there is soo much positive happening!
I love the unspoken message from Pollyanna that the antidote for scarcity minded people is GRATITUDE! That’s it. When we feel we are bombarded with stuff to complain about stop and think, “Let’s play the GLAD GAME.” When we count our many blessings even if it’s hard to get started (when everything seems to be anything but glad), really give it thought and soon the inertia will give way and you most likely will see all the good and begin feeling glad. Glad for life, glad for shoes, glad for feet to put in the shoes, glad for eyes to see the beauty, glad for lips to kiss the chubby cheeks of a baby, glad for fingers to type, glad for water to drink, glad for food to eat, glad for air to breathe, glad for…you fill in the blank–it’s never ending the things we can be glad for!
When we practice gratitude, we are filled with enough. There’s enough and more to go around! There’s enough for each of us. And, expressing gratitude brings even more things to be grateful for into our life–if you don’t believe that, try it. Practice it daily—all day long! Everything you touch, everything you see, everything or everyone you come in contact with, express gratitude for it, for them! Even if you do it quietly, silently, you will begin to see how much more there is to be GLAD for.
When I began practicing gratitude I didn’t really think I wasn’t a grateful person. But since I had committed to expressing gratitude more, I began noticing how much I heard myself complaining about things! I was surprised I had a LOT to work on in that area. I began catching myself before the complaint escaped my mouth (and still occasionally catch myself!) but, instead I expressed gratitude–truly it changed me. Try it. If you have a bad hair day, instead of cursing your hair say, “wow, am I grateful for hair today no matter what it looks like–I love my hair!” If your back is a problem instead of cursing it, thank it for all it does to support you. If you are hurrying somewhere and hit every red light in town say, “so grateful for this time to catch my breath, time to calm myself…boy, am I grateful I won’t be getting a speeding ticket…so grateful I will arrive alive because this red light made me stop!” Whatever the circumstance there is always something to be grateful for. Even for Pollyanna whose mother died at Pollyanna’s birth and was orphaned when her father died, she could hold the happy memories of her father sacred even if her stern aunt dismissed them…she was grateful for the memories. She extended herself and brought gladness into the lives of all who came in contact with her.
I love Pollyanna. I’m grateful I got to enjoy that great movie once again and this time with two of the most wonderful people in the world! There’s truly so very much to be grateful for.
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