I believe in the value of spreading a little sunshine

Charlotte Mae - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on February 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

During my freshman year of high school, some of my friend told me they were worried because I never smiled. I thought about what they said, but made no life-changing alternations to my life. Only after I read Eleanor Porter’s Pollyanna did I begin to smile because of the Glad Game.

The Glad Game simply states there is something good in everything and has become my personal philosophy. I make an effort to approach each new day with optimism, hoping that by keeping my spirits uplifted, I can learn more and stay stress-free. Playing the Glad Game causes me to examine every unpleasant experience; subsequently I am always learning about myself and my environment. This game has made me calmer and healthier.

Also, the game made me happier. So happy, in fact, that I wanted to share my new attitude, but needed a means to do so. During Middle School, my bus driver taught me the importance of saying a heartfelt, “Good Morning” and together would start our day with a smile. So, in high school, it became my obsession to greet my amazing teachers with a warm good morning and huge grin. Almost without exception, the teacher’s response was a genuine grin and a “Good Morning” in return. Every teacher’s eyes and spirits brightened momentarily. A few of the teachers started calling me Miss Sunshine.

Since the teachers had such a positive reaction, I began spreading some of my sunshine to my classmates; I wanted them to smile and have a happy feeling at least for one moment of each day. “Smile!” I would tell them. “Our Extended Essays are not due today!” Every classmate smiled, either from relief or from laughing at me. Today, after three years of being Miss Sunshine, I feel as if I have made a positive difference in the lives of both my teachers and peers by showing them that there is something good in each day, experience, and moment. Sometimes we do not understand or appreciate the event until examined in retrospect, but that is expected. Spreading a little sunshine is something I hope to do daily not only because it is fun, but makes people smile and have a moment of joy during their day.