Thursday, 2 December 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm not sure sometimes what the difference is between being thankful and simply playing the Glad Game.

I have never been a betting man and these days I try to be dogmatic and certain about almost nothing because experience has shown me that absolute certainties rarely turn out to be that.  Occasionally I will say that I will put money on something  when I'm pretty sure of my facts.  I remember very clearly (rare for me I admit) writing a piece on the Glad Game and Pollyanna.  In fact having just looked up some facts again I had a real dose of déja vu.  However I have searched both this blog and Eagleton Notes and can find references to the Glad Game but none referring to Pollyanna or to how the phrase came  into being.  

I'm sure that Heather will know because the character Pollyanna went to live in Vermont with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna is a best-selling novel by written in 1913 by Eleanor H. Porter who also wrote a sequel.  The remaining Pollyanna Series of books were written by other people.

Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we don't need 'em!"  [Wikipedia]

There have been many versions of the story committed to film and television but, for me,  the 2003 ITV  TV film version of Pollyanna starring  Amanda Burton as Aunt Polly and Georgina Terry as Pollyanna reigns supreme. This version is very faithful to the book, with one or two minor differences that do not affect the accuracy of the plot. It uses the original characterizations and storylines, but takes place in the English countryside rather than Vermont (only the scenery and accents show this, and the town is still called Beldingsville).  I will not mention the ending because if anyone who reads this has never seen it I would recommend it to you whether you be a young and romantic female or an old and cynical male or someone in between.  If it does not move you then I shall be very surprised (and disappointed).

So my 'Thankful' today is that I learned about the Glad Game.  Over the last decade it has helped me through many situations.


  1. Oh, please do not ask me mind drifts with what I do not practice on a daily basis ;) and, I regret that this statement was not exaggerated in the least.

    Yet, I do recall the story of Pollyana and not that you've written of her before. I'm sure that I've seen the television version, but never have I read the book. And, I wasn't aware that the story took place in Vermont - BUT I LOVE that it did. Now, you've got me wanting to see it, or read it, probably see it.

    I didn't know that the "Glad Game" originated with you from this story, Graham. That was one smart daddy, she had, now wasn't he?!

    I've learned to be thankful in every circumstance, training myself to see the good in everything - I don't exactly know when that began for me but I know nothing different now. I've always had a thankful heart, a seed planted in me that grew and flourished through my years of living; a seed planted when I first asked God to tend the soil inside of me ♥

  2. I think you must have mentioned Pollyanna before... but I suppose it might have been in a comment or email. I know I read the book back in my childhood or youth but I don't remember the story well enough to have been able to connect it with your glad game if you had not somewhere done so yourself. I also can't remember the word or phrase used in the Swedish translation. But I do think I've been practising it quite often without having a name for it.

  3. When my daughters were children we watched Pollyanna dozens of times...(the Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman version.) I will have to watch the version you recommended.
    What I loved the most about it was the prisms that she hung all around the old lady's room...they refracted the light and rainbows went spinning across everything...
    That makes me smile...and I still look for rainbow prisms...I have a heart-shaped crystal hanging from the rearview mirror in my car that catches the light and spins rainbows all around the interior of my car on sunny days...always brings a smile.
    ;^) ;^) ;^)