Side Effects Of The Pollyanna Principle

You out there that’s bummed out, this is for you.

Most of my life I have had a Pollyanna view of the world. This is the tendency to remember pleasant items more accurately than unpleasant ones. Certain personalities are more prone to looking at life through jolly lenses.

The word “Pollyanna” actually comes from a 1913 children’s book written by Eleanor H. Porter which was made famous by the popular Disney movie. A young girl, even after she experiences hard times, tries to always find something positive in every situation, using something she calls “the Glad Game.”

In the story, Pollyanna goes through a time in her life when it was a true struggle to be positive. She was unable to enjoy some things in her life that used to make her happy. Her light dimmed. Real problems and zero control to fix them.

Can’t we all relate to that?

Having this optimistic view of the world is a very rare thing to find as we get older. I still practice it, but it has adapted over the years as I’ve grown in wisdom.

There are side effects of the Pollyanna Principle when the positive perspective is placed in the wrong things. Plug in your own “thing.” My error was expecting too much from people who either did not have the ability to give what I expected or chose not to.

As a result, the side effects manifested can involve a very guarded heart, callousness, negativity, depression, anger and all other kinds of emotions.

The danger isn’t necessarily in the reality check of how this world and human nature operate, it’s in the pattern of how we react to it. After all, the Prince of this world isn’t the good guy. We can stay in a proverbial state of negativity very easily if we don’t actively change our mindset.

Let’s be honest here. The very people we would never think could do terrible evils, end up being people we are close to, are related to, those in positions that should know better or possibly, it even originates from within ourselves.

Never trust human nature. One can go through life with a positive perspective but only when we are equipped with a heavenly end goal. Otherwise, we will be disappointed on a daily basis.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

That old hymn can to mind this morning. As we grow up and learn where to place our trust, the bad stuff in this world doesn’t consume us as much anymore. That takes time, is a process, but makes complete and total sense.

We all need reminding of that. Your present icky situation is temporary and life can be viewed from a Pollyanna perspective again. As Pollyanna learned how her position on life has side effects and greatly impacted those around here, for better or for worse, it’s important that we adapt ourselves for those around us and for own own state of mind.

As a mother, I hope I’m successful in teaching my kids this valuable truth.

Happy Friday!








Coping With A Polarized Society

In the spirit of of bipartisan motherhood, I don’t intentionally impose my parenting preferences on others. A lot of you don’t either. That’s annoying, right? I mean, when has insulting someone’s choices and views ever REALLY resulted in positively winning someone over to your way of thinking? It doesn’t. That approach causes the opposite effect. Generally, one digs their heels in deeper and dusts off the boxing gloves.

When that doesn’t work, peer pressure and bullying come into play. Oh, and by the way, that tactic is obviously already here. Be ready. History repeats itself.

As a mom, having half a society go directly “in your face” against what I’m sweating and laboring for with my kids in my own home really turns “mama bear” up a few notches.

The same applies to most everything in life. The topic of the moment in our country: political preferences. I’m concerned the most about the ANGER and DISRESPECT that seems to be ever increasing on both sides of the aisle.

Eh, it is what it is. Such is life. Maybe you are fed up with the entire propaganda machine throwing negativity at you through news media, social media and the world at large. Frankly, it makes me devil horn grumpy. I don’t want to live with that mood swelling up inside me constantly.

So where do we put it? How do we deal? Is there a way to live peacefully with others that seem to intentionally antagonize and polarize?

  • If you want everyone to believe and act just like you, then NOPE.
  • If you expect everyone with differing views to just let you be because you don’t push your views on them, then NOPE.
  • If you move to a deserted island with no neighbors or internet signal, well then MAYBE.

If you stand for something, wrong or right, it comes with the territory: there will always be opposition. It’s the “all up in your face with the opposition” that skyrockets the “annoyed out of my gourds” meter.

I mean, look. I’m 40 years old. At this point, my belief system of right and wrong is pretty well set in stone. That isn’t going to change much. However, my empathy meter can be moved. I know what it’s like to hurt, to feel ostracized and be in the minority so I’ve learned to listen. In order to listen to someone, there should be dialogue, not what we are seeing today. Telling someone what they should believe is massively ineffective.

Seriously though, people can label, march in hate, protest in violence, badmouth, lie, express themselves all they want but, if the goal is to win others over to one’s way of thinking with this platform, then the effort is in vain. However, if the goal it to tick off half the people someone knows, then mission accomplished!

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”

― Martin Luther

When I first began blogging months ago, I wanted to write for parenting magazines. I actually wrote for several last year and I was thoroughly enjoying it. That is, until the election landed upon written communication in the online parenting world.

What I witnessed transpire in the content of those subscriptions that I aspired to write for completely turned me off. One-sided, hateful, dishonest, vulgar even.

Let’s just say I checked several top publications off my bucket list. Ha! Even if I had an article or two accepted and seen my blog grow by the thousands, I would have been compromising my integrity and, to this day, have no interest being associated with all that. Maybe my writing would have never been accepted anyway or maybe they just completely missed out on awesomeness. Either way, my decision is made.

I’m rambling. Imagine that.

I guess if I’m answering my own question of how does one stay positive and attempt to live in harmony with all this polarization, I would have to say this: make some key choices.

  1. I can’t change someone and they can’t change me with anger and in your face tactics. Back it on up. Not going to work. Let people be.
  2. One only controls oneself. So pick a respectful platform in which to express yourself. Cut the negative posts out of your news feeds if they make your blood boil.
  3. If you lead a true faith-based perspective of life here, then you understand you will NEVER fit in with all your inner most perspectives exposed.
  4. Search oneself, commune with the Creator and ask for the assurance that what we believe and stand for is of eternal value and does it represent the real truth.

At the end of the day, I’m learning to cope with the negativity by redirecting my emotions, seeking truth for myself (not what media or man tells me) and trying my best to avoid the nastiness. Now, I have my moments, don’t get me wrong. No easy feat here.

I want my kids to be kind but wise. If I want them to be this way then I have got to at least make it a priority to TRY, right?

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

Lose this balance, and you will be devoured by the world.

Food for thought. Finding balance: not easy but worth attempting!