We Need More Pollyannas

Pollyanna, a 1920 movie, starring Mary Pickford

For some time, now, Pollyanna has gotten a bad rap. From print media to nay-sayers, from skeptics to cynics, the name Pollyanna has been negatively associated with people who tend toward the bright, positive side of life, as if that were a bad thing.

But what is a Pollyanna these days?

By strict definition, one is a Pollyanna if he is “a persistently optimistic person” (Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary, Second Concise Edition, 1982). She would constantly refuse to see the negative side of a given situation.

In this negative world we live in, a Pollyanna drives many people nuts. Why this should be so, I cannot say.

Of course, the name Pollyanna comes from a series of novels by Eleanor H. Porter, who died at the young age of 51 or 52.

I loved the book, “Pollyanna,” and I loved the movie—both the older one with a white Pollyanna and the newer one with a black Pollyanna. How could anyone not love such an upbeat, positive, innocent, naïve and totally delightful little girl?

However, I guess it’s acceptable for children to be “upbeat, positive, innocent, naïve and totally delightful,” but not adults. Somehow, that seems wrong.

It’s not enough that we’re bombarded every day with news of every sort of negative and depraved situation one can possibly imagine, this sickness has come to be accepted as normal!

While it’s okay to slip in a news program a positive story every once in awhile, just try replacing all the negative news with positive news and see how fast that program’s ratings go down. I could be wrong, but I’m probably not.

I think this collective negativity speaks more about the emotional and mental states of American citizens that it does about Pollyanna. In fact, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love” — and more Pollyannas.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CaroLine
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 04:13:39

    Thank you, I feel as though you gave me permission to continue my Pollyanna life.


    • Cris
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 04:36:35

      You didn’t, nor never have, needed my permission. You are what you are and I love you for the way you are. Sounds like a song title. 🙂

      You must have been snooping around the Table of Contents. Did you ever read my adventure on Top of Spaghetti? Er, Mt. Timpanogas? It was quite an ordeal.


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