Lessons from Anne

by Christy Gualtieri

Unsplash Photo By Alice HampsonA friend of mine recently showed me a book she’d received in the mail from a friend of hers – a copy of Anne of Green Gables, with a beautiful written inscription.  I smiled and told her that I had never read Anne of Green Gables.

“Oh.  But you’ve seen the movie, though, right?”

I had not.  


I’d always wanted to get around to it, and although I was a voracious reader as a child (and an adult, a hobby which eventually led me to earning my Master’s Degree in English Literature), there were so many “must-reads” I had missed.  

So I decided to start.  I created a sort of “book bucket list,” and first on it was Anne of Green Gables.  I can understand why it’s a great book for little girls – Anne has a ton of imagination and is so purely excited about so many things in her life, it’s hard not to feel her infectious joy as you read her story.  Then again, as a parent myself, I feel as though if I had a little girl like Anne, she’d drive me absolutely up the wall, with all of her over-earnestness and constant chatter.  

Even so, Anne of Green Gables has indeed taught me a few neat things, which I think are important for folks of any age, not just children.  

The importance of imagination

Anne is a girl who knows the power of imagination.  An orphan who lived in pretty deplorable conditions before she moved to Green Gables, she uses her daydreams to escape when things become too overwhelming.  No matter how great your life is, rough days happen to everyone.  When was the last time you indulged in some good old-fashioned daydreaming? It Although it’s never wise to live in complete denial, taking a few minutes to use your imagination to cheer yourself up can really lift your spirits if you’re having a bad day.

The importance of speaking your mind

Anne also doesn’t shy away from speaking plainly, much to the chagrin of the adults in her lives (and quite a few peers!).  I know that for me, I’d much rather make others happy than speak what’s on my mind.  But it’s healthy to let others know how you feel about things, and to have your own opinions! Don’t be afraid to share them!  

The importance of choosing joy

Anne understood the need to choose joy in her own life – and it’s a struggle many of us have, especially when we find ourselves in a time of sadness or stress.  But choosing joy doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing exercise.  If you wake up and decide to choose joy for just the first few minutes of the day, you may find that it gets easier to do so as the day goes on.  Joy attracts joy – and it can produce some amazing results in your life!

The next book up, To Kill a Mockingbird.  We’ll see how it goes!

Until next time, be well!

Christy GualtieriChristy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com, and tweets @agapeflower117. Follow PghPsych on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, inspirational quotes, articles, and different events and causes related to good mental health!


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