Where are the Heidis and Pollyannas of today?

Have you read either of these books, Heidi and Pollyanna?

Heidi was 5 years old when she was brought to her grandfather’s house, he was a bitter old man and didn’t want to take Heidi in at the beginning. However, through her determined cheerfulness and intelligence, Heidi won the hearts of not only her grandfather, but also the rest of the mountain folks who lived there. As time passed, the people grew more and more attached in their affection towards Heidi.

As for Pollyanna, she was sent to her Aunt Polly’s house. Aunt Polly who viewed all children with suspicion was suddenly inconvenienced with Pollyanna’s presence and was not shy in expressing her displeasure. Despite all this, and I don’t believe I’m giving anything away, Pollyanna’s spirit and charm, including her zest for life won the hearts of her Aunt Polly as well as the residents of Beldingsville, Vermont.

Both of these girls lost their parents at an early age and were forced to take on the task of protecting their spirits by themselves. It is ironic that in order to protect their soft core, they had to build very strong walls of cheerfulness and optimism to combat against the grumps, the grouches and the doubters of the world.

Rather than falling into apathy, they empathise. Rather than ridicule, they realise the potential of every situation and every soul around them. Their belief is infectious, an attitude that sees flaws in people but does not penalise their perception of them while still holding those very same people with the greatest of affection.

For many people, they are fortunate to have grown up in an atmosphere of acceptance, accommodation, support and even pampering. For some others, early lessons in life revolved around rejection and neglect, totally engulfed with the feeling of being uncared for and unwanted. For them, some will grow up to be equally neglectful, and jaded. For some others, perhaps something inside them rebelled against the default, determined for themselves an attitude towards life that cannot be changed by outside forces.

It’s raining in London, it has been raining all day today. What was it again that Samuel Johnson said of London? Looking out of the window I ask myself again, where are the Heidis and Pollyannas of today? Maybe they’re all warm and snug inside their houses, or maybe they’re out there jumping puddles.


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