I am ashamed at how absent I’ve been with blogging and reading lately. I am a book behind with our read along (but almost done! Review to come ASAP!)– a horrible shame as I am co-hosting with Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf. But, as we learned from Anne, life can be unpredictable sometimes. More on that in a future post– let’s focus on Anne!
Now that we’re wrapping up our read along with Rilla of Ingleside and Anne is fading into the background of her children’s lives, it’s time to focus on all the great things Anne has taught us. Each chapter of every book comes with a wonderful life lesson. But what are the lasting ones I will walk away with? It was challenging to select only 5 lessons, but they are some of my favorites.
Feel free to join in our Top 5 List posts and link up below. Our schedule is merely recommended– you’re welcome to join in whatever you’d like whenever you’d like!
And without further ado…
Top 5 Things I Learned Reading Anne of Green Gables
1 – Appreciate the world around you.
I find the way Anne Shirley finds beauty in the world absolutely charming. She is completely in love with nature no matter the season. Anne always stops to smell the flowers. She wants to get lost in the forest and stop to watch the sunset. Anne isn’t afraid to spend her time doing things most people might find “unproductive” — just being outside and appreciating the world. But I think this is something we are missing and need to get back to. The world is magical and waiting for us. We shouldn’t miss the beauty it provides.
2 – Don’t be ashamed of who you are.
Yes, early on Anne Shirley is distressed that she has red hair and freckles. But she soon learns to love herself for who she is. I adore how she is unafraid to be a fiercely competitive academic, an outdoorswoman, and be desirous of a dress with puff sleeves. She knows she’s a poor cook and owns it. Anne Shirley owns her mistakes just as much as her successes no matter what.
Related to this, Anne is never ashamed of the opinion she holds, even if it isn’t popular. As Anne and her family settle in Four Winds, she is constantly chatting with Susan Baker and Miss Cornelia. She doesn’t often agree with them, and she rarely allows herself to be persuaded to change her own opinion. Anne holds true to her own beliefs, no matter what those around her believe.
3 – Having fun should always be a priority.
This is consistent throughout the Anne of Green Gables series. Whether Anne is a child or Anne is a mother she always prioritizes fun. Life is far too challenging to take seriously all the time. While I don’t agree with everything Anne does as a parent, the thing I hope most to take from her parenting examples is to prioritize fun. She laughs with her children and encourages their imagination. Life is hard sometimes. When an opportunity to have fun shows up, seize it.
As Anne says, “You can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” And she’s right. Even when the people around her were determined not to have fun, Anne made an attempt to pull them in. Everyone has a right to joy.
4 – Don’t be afraid to love.
This lesson shows itself in so many ways throughout the book. The most obvious to me is the transformation of Marilla over the course of the first novel. Marilla starts out stern and strict, the self-appointed rigid conscience of Anne. But Anne slowly melts her heart. Anne’s laughter, openness to accept her self, and her easy-going nature eventually persuades Marilla to take Anne deeply into her heart. Marilla, Matthew, and Anne become an incredibly tight family wrapped together by love.
This shows in other friendships, but it also shows in Anne’s passions. She loves to spend time outside, to read poetry, and to bring joy to other’s lives. She would despair over being unable to attend a show or go to a party. Anne’s passion for these events is another form of love. While not quite the same, I learned through this that it’s okay to be vocal and content with your personal passions.
5 – Never stop dreaming.
Growing up, I didn’t realize having dreams was more than just having ambition in life. Now I realize it is so much more. Anne’s dreams envelop the world around her. I believe this is what makes her so magnetic. She pulls everyone into her dreams as well. This manifests in the brilliant, vivid, imaginative locales all around Avonlea such as Lake of Shining Waters or Lover’s Lane, but it also manifests in her dreams for the future. Anne’s House of Dreams comes to pass because she convinces Gilbert to join in these dreams with her. After all, imagination makes life exciting and passionate!
If I had to summarize all the lessons from Anne of Green Gables into a single statement it would be: Don’t forget, life is a wonderful adventure. No matter how dark or complicated, Anne and her family are able to turn back towards the sun. Happiness and joy are the keys to living a wonderful life.
As we go into 2018, I hope to keep all these lessons close to my heart. These lessons are the intention I choose to set for the upcoming year. Thank you, Anne. Thank you L.M. Montgomery. Thank you all for teaching these lessons to me.
Other Top 5 Things I learned reading Anne of Green Gables
[Your post here!~]
What do you think?
- Are there other moments from Anne of Green Gables you think illustrate the lessons I mentioned above?
- What lessons did you learn from reading the Anne of Green Gables books?
- Are there any lessons you found from these books which didn’t suit your tastes?