A Sunny Disposition.
Every time I see or hear that phrase, I cringe a little inside and am reminded of the time I had to hand-copy a portion of a chapter in one of my childhood study books, “A Beautiful Girlhood.” By the time I was old enough to write, whenever I’d get into trouble with my mom, I would usually either write a ton of sentences or get a spanking and then write a ton of sentences. I know I was a handful of a child, because I had to write sentences a LOT. (And, miraculously, somehow I still enjoy writing?!)
This one time in particular, I was acting plum spoiled. My attitude was pitiful. I don’t remember what it was all about, but my mom saw I wasn’t acting very nice (I was evidently super cranky that day), so she got out the dreaded book for me to read (after a somewhat lengthy and very-much-needed lecture, I’m sure), and told me to get to work. “All this?! I have to write ALL this by HAND?!” YEP. I could not believe it. Why had I gotten myself into this kind of trouble AGAIN? Good grief.
And so I began, at the ripe old age of about twelve, writing about having A Sunny Disposition but with a very rotten disposition in my heart. I finished, eventually, and my attitude changed as well. I wasn’t always a bright ray of sunshine, but for some reason, out of all the thousands of sentences (I’m not kidding), these are some I won’t forget. I even saved the papers in an old three-ring binder, and somehow never had the audacity to throw them away. (I mean, hey — why chunk something you spent so much of your precious time on, right?)
Every time I see the paper titled A Sunny Disposition in my terribly obvious and in-need-of-improving twelve year-old penmanship, I am reminded that I ought to make an effort to have a sunny disposition, because there are too many in the world who walk through life like Eeyore, with a grey cloud over their heads, when there are way too many reasons to be glad and thankful about something, no matter our current situations. And as Pollyanna puts it, “There is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”
I can’t believe I’m voluntarily re-copying this, but here’s an excerpt from the chapter in A Beautiful Girlhood (which is a great book for young girls and I highly recommend):
Every girl owes it to herself and to her associates to be sunny. A happy girlhood is so beautiful that it cannot afford to be spoiled by needless frowns and pouts. There are clouds enough in life without making them out of temper. A girl who is full of smiles is a fountain of joy to all who know her. The world has enough of tears and sorrow at best, and her sweet, smiling face can scatter untold clouds. Could a girl ask for a better calling than of a joy-maker for all about her?
Are we smiling enough to make up for all the frowns in the world? This life that God has given us deserves to be smiled at. We have plenty of reasons to be sunny, and there’s always something to smile about. As Buddy the Elf said, “I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite.” Smiling should be one of our favorite things.
Once I looked upon the face of a dear little boy whose bright eyes and sunny smiles cheered my heart. I asked him what his name might be, and he answered, “Papa calls me Sunshine John.” Then I knew that the merry smile I saw was, as I thought, an index to the sunny little heart. Any home is blessed if it has a sunshine-maker.
Have a blessed day!
A special thanks to several friends and family for these lovely smiles!