"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pollyanna Positive versus Nellie Negative

I have truly come to believe I live in a land far away from reality.  This land is a land where something good happens every day--a land of job and housework and bills and laundry and a never-ending "to-do" list.  A land where having to do dishes means there was food to cook.  A land where even if a punk from the neighborhood comes through and turns off the A/C unit outside as a prank, I still have fans and electricity to run them while waiting for maintenance to find and solve the problem.  Yes, I live in a dream world--a world where it is easier to count Blessings than complain about challenges...

I stopped watching newscasts several years ago--journalism has taken a giant leap away from Who, What, When, Where and How and stands mainly in the ever-enlarging camp of Why.  "Straight" newscasts--without opinion and slanted commentary--are so few and far between, they are almost non-existent.  Doomsayers and gloom-casters dominate the media.  The relative ease of commenting semi-anonymously on stories broadcast on the Web seems to encourage what my parents used to call "open mouth, insert foot".  If negativity isn't broadcast on the news or on You Tube, it is Tweeted, blogged or Facebooked.  Is it simply because these things are not being said directly to someone's face, or have we as a culture lost the ability to be cordial and mannerly to each other, even if we disagree?

I have always felt I had a fairly balanced view of life.  Now, I watch the world spinning past and read of bullying in schools causing teen suicides or peruse the comments on news articles where total strangers call each other names unfit for print.  If that is balanced, I want no part of it.  I was raised in the era of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  That did not encourage lying, but it did carry the expectation that I would always try to find a silver lining in any person or situation.

Since I still choose that way of viewing the world, I welcome the title some friends have bestowed upon me--the nickname of Pollyanna Positive.  I'd much rather see the world through rose-colored glasses and look for the good in everyone. Positive thinking is not a new concept by any means, but it does seem to have fallen out of favor.

I pledge to do what I can to bring positive thinking back to the world--does anybody care to join me?  Anybody at all?

Keep On The Sunny Side of Life

Written by Ada Blenkhorn in 1899.
Music by J. Howard Entwisle.

There's a dark and a troubled side of life
There's a bright and a sunny side, too
Tho' we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life

Tho' the storm in its fury broke today,
Crushing hopes that we cherished so dear;
Storm and cloud will in time pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear.

Let us greet with a song of hope each day
Tho' the moments be cloudy or fair
Let us trust in our Saviour alway
Who keepeth everyone in His care


  1. I like your positive attitude, Polly, I'll get in your boat as we wile our way down the river of life.

  2. Totally agree with this post... My husband has long held the belief that I see the world through rose-colored glasses, while I have viewed him as one of the more cynical folk I've met. His view is that if you expect/prepare for the worst and something good happens, it's a pleasant surprise.(!) I maintain that I'd rather have a happy life with a few unpleasant surprises than a miserable life with a few happy ones...

    I also agree totally with your view of the media and the relative anonymity of the Internet that makes people so much more brutally outspoken and unkind. One of my great fears is that critical mass will be reached and negativity will become our permanent reality. Then I read blogs like this or Brene Brown's or Susannah Conway's or Danielle LaPorte's and I find hope again. Thank you for being a positive voice in the world.

    A couple of side notes: as of Friday, we will be the same age. I lived in Austin for a little over a year, and my children grew up in The Colony (they lived with their dad). My son currently lives in McKinney. My mom grew up in El Paso. God bless Texas!