The Power of Positive Thinking, Edwardian-Style

Some folks these days may believe that the benefits of positive thinking originated with "The Secret." But a little art nouveau-styled chapbook uncovered at the Pottery City Antique Mall this weekend-- dating back to 1907-- proves that we have been reminding ourselves to put a sunny spin on life for years and years now.

Today, I thought I'd share with you just a bit of their upbeat wisdom!

Personally, I think it would be impossible to remain in a rotten mood just cracking open a book so lushly and colorfully illustrated as "Good Cheer," published by the Berger Publishing Company of Buffalo, NY...
They don't make 'em like that anymore! All the beauty of early 1900s postcards seems to be layered into this little booklet. We begin, greeted with roses and Ruskin...

Happiness is everywhere
and its
spring is in
our own heart.
Ruskin.

Turning the next page we get snippets from a number of well-known writers, all on the idea of keeping a positive perspective on the daily trials we face...

The day returns and brings us the petty rounds of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces; let cheerfulness abound with industry. Give us to go blithely on our business all this day, bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonored, and grant us in the end, the gift of sleep.
Robert Louis Stevenson.

Life is a mirror; if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting.
Thackeray.

The habit of viewing things cheerfully, and thinking about life hopefully, may be made to grow up in us like any other habit.
Smiles.


On Mondays, I may have to pop back here myself and, um, remind me of these things.

Here, we are treated to some rather magical blue wildflowers...
The page reads:

Cheerfulness
is like money
well expended in
charity-- the more we
dispense of it, the
greater our possessions.
Victor Hugo

In life
there is
but one sure
happiness--
to live for others.
Leo Tolstoi.

Not that I previously viewed Tolstoi as a particularly perky guy-- but hey, we all have layers, I suppose. Some of the wisdom is shared in violets and verse...
Oh, heart of mine, we shouldn't
Worry so!
What we've missed of calm
We couldn't have, you know!
What we've met of stormy pain,
And of sorrow's driving rani
We can better meet again,
If it blow!
James Whitcomb Riley
Some of it in spreads of fiction and rural landscape...

But most of it is picked from fresh cheerful bouquets of reminder...
A
sunny
temper
gilds the
edge of
life's blackest
cloud.
Guthrie.

Here's wishing you the joys of the week ahead, and the patience to find their hiding place if they get shy about in stepping into the light.

2 comments:

Lois said...

What a great book!
How could you not be "UP" after paging through it?
Thanks for sharing and have a great week Jenn!
Lois

Sharon said...

I love this little book!