Disney Movie Lines – Cinema Sunday: Positively Pollyanna

“Life Lessons…one Disney Movie Line at a time.”

 I hope you enjoy this beautiful post by Fellow Panelist and Disney Mom Teronya “Tron”…

“If you look for the bad in people you’re sure to find it, so look for the good in them instead.” – Pollyanna

 “You’re such a Pollyanna!!!” Have you ever heard this phrase? Usually, it is used to describe someone with an eternally optimistic viewpoint of life. And, conversely, it is often said in a tone that denotes a negative context, regaling someone as being a “goody two shoes”, or haranguing them for continually seeing the sunny side of things, to the point of being extremely annoying.

Photo credit: Disney

 The Disney movie, Pollyanna has always been one of my favorites.  I remember watching it as a young girl, transfixed, as Pollyanna, played by the incomparable Hayley Mills, strung chandelier crystals across the windows creating glimmering rainbow spectrums of light into the darkened rooms of the depressed souls in that movie, and thinking, “if only I could get my hands on some of those – I would be able to cheer up (fill in the blank here, with whomever was in need of cheer on certain occasions)…”

Yes, I have always been one of those with a “glass half full” kind of outlook, choosing to look at life from the positive side.  After all, even in the worst of circumstances, there is HOPE, right?  My faith, which for me is a Christian faith, allows me to believe this, and that is what helps me to get through the tough circumstances of life on a day to day basis.

In the movie, the orphaned Pollyanna’s philosophy of life is based upon a game she learned from her father when she was very young – the Glad Game.  This game came about when Pollyanna, the child of missionaries, was hoping for a doll to arrive for her for Christmas in the missionary barrel.  Instead, when the barrel finally arrived, it contained only a pair of crutches!  Her wise father made up the Glad Game on the spot, teaching her that they must choose to look upon the good side of life, and be glad about the crutches –because they didn’t need them!

Pollyanna brought her amazing attitude and the Glad Game into the lives of everyone she touched in her new home town when she moved in with her Aunt Polly, played by Jane Wyman.  And, boy, were there some Gloomy Gus’s in that place!  But it was Pollyanna’s never tiring spirit, her cheery smile, and her ability to bring sunshine and sympathy in the lives of others that transformed so many individuals, and eventually an entire town!

There was a point in the movie where Pollyanna’s own optimism was put into jeopardy, when she was brought to a point where it would have been easy for her to sink into the depths of her own despair and a sense of hopelessness about her own life.  However, this time it was the townspeople, whose lives she had changed, who turned table and brought love, kindness, and hope to her.

This lovely story has always resonated within me, encouraging me each and every time I watch it to make sure that I look upon life with a perspective of hope, and trusting and believing that there is always a “great, big, beautiful tomorrow – shining at the end of every day” (Oops…Yes!  Another of my favorite quotes from Disney I just had to slip in here!). 

I also believe that it is important to pour our lives into the lives of others, giving back whenever we can.  We, who recognize that we have been blessed with so much, have a responsibility to share the reason for our hope, as well as what we have been given, with others. 

As a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, it has been my privilege to become part of a family of men and women, from all around the world, who share optimism and a sense of hope that I believe is personified by the “Disney” lifestyle!  I call this an “eternally optimistic perspective”, when we are determined to look for the best in others and situations, no matter what. 

When I’m in Walt Disney World with this bunch, and it rains – no problem!  Pull out the ponchos!  The lines are long, you say?  Big deal, let’s sing some of our favorite Disney tunes while we wait in line!  We’re freezing to death while we wait for the parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?  Pass out the hot chocolate!

In the same way, my new Disney Family has pulled together to encourage one another through the really tough times – loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, and cancer.  We are just a group of “Disney-lovin’ fans”, loving and encouraging one another through life, with that same sense of hope and optimism that we find in our love of “all things Disney”!

One of the lines in Pollyanna is: “If you look for the bad in people you’re sure to find it, so look for the good in them instead.”  So true!  This type of attitude will go such a long way in motivating yourself and inspiring others to reach out to others in this world, and help them along.  After all, we all have our tough times to go through, but if we just look for the good in others, and remember that “we’re all in this together”, we can get through it!

This past weekend, I traveled to Walt Disney World with my own family, for a reunion with my Walt Disney World Moms Panel family to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom together!  Friday morning, we had the privilege of delivering a check to Give Kids the World Village (GKTW), a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, and offers its guests donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a week-long, cost-free fantasy vacation. To date, Give Kids the World has welcomed more than 90,000 families from all 50 states and over 65 countries. http://www.gktw.org/

My amazing family of Walt Disney World Moms Panelists has worked together, with hope and optimism, to raise money for this amazing cause for the past three years, each year increasing our goals and meeting them!  It has been a privilege this year, as a new member of the Panel, to be a part of this effort, which, I believe, is a wonderful example of how so many people of different backgrounds and beliefs can come together to bring joy to others, and to find cause to rejoice, even under some of the toughest experiences in life.

No matter what the circumstances, we must lean on hope.  Let’s encourage one another to make the Glad Game a part of our everyday lives, and find reasons to live with joy in our hearts.

I want to leave you with a quote from my favorite scene in Pollyanna.  In this scene, Pollyanna stumbles upon her pastor, played by the wonderful Karl Malden, as he is practicing one of his typical condemning sermons for the congregation.  Once again, this beautiful child, with her spirit of hope and optimism, changes the life of another.  I believe the lesson she shares with him is one we can all take to heart:

POLLYANNA: There are eight hundred happy texts, did you know that?

REVEREND: No, I didn’t know that.

POLLYANNA: Yes, well there are. And do you know, my father said that if GOD took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must have wanted us to do it.

Written by fellow Disney Mom & dear friend Teronya “Tron”. Tron is a proud member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. She is not a Disney employee. The postings on this site are her own and do not necessarily represent Disney’s positions or opinions.

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