“I was growlin’ one day ’cause I was so bent up and crooked; an’what do ye s’pose the little thing said? … She said I could be glad, anyhow, that I didn’t have ter stoop so far ter do my weedin’ – ’cause I was already bent part way over.”
― Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna

I am hearing a lot of growling and grumbling on the city streets and in blog-posts, so here is the Word for the Day – Pollyanna: someone who thinks good things will always happen and finds something good in everything.

Peace in the Valley
Peace in the Valley

In a philosophy class filled with twenty-somethings, I say that Voltaire’s comment in Candide – “This is the best of all possible worlds and couldn’t possibly be better.” – is quite nice.

The twenty-something next to me turns and smirks,  “The comment is sarcasm.” To which I reply, “Let us [then, happily] work  without reasoning,” so says Candide’s Martin; “it is the only way to make life endurable.”

The hullabaloo about evil the goodness of the world goes back to Gottfried Leibniz and his Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil. Eleanor H. Porter ‘s book, Pollyanna,  covers the same subject and like Leibnitz, concludes that a little evil keeps us on our toes.

Or, as Mammy Yokum’s often said in the Lil Abner cartoon:

“Good is better than evil becuz it’s nicer!


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