By Patrick Buchana

Jamaine was a nice, cheerful, expectant boy. No one could remember ever having seen him angry. He didn’t mind about what people said to him, which was so unusual since there was a rumour making its rounds that Jamaine’s goodness must be due to some special secret.
Kids should avoid listening to negative words. Net photo.
Kids should avoid listening to negative words. Net photo.

Jamaine was a nice, cheerful, expectant boy. No one could remember ever having seen him angry. He didn’t mind about what people said to him, which was so unusual since there was a rumour making its rounds that Jamaine’s goodness must be due to some special secret.

They questioned Jamaine so much that, one afternoon he invited his favourite teacher, Mr. Anthony, to tea. When they had finished talking, Jamaine showed Mr. Anthony around the house. When he opened his bedroom door, the teacher froze, and a big smile spread across his face.

The huge far wall was a unique collection of thousands of colours and shapes! It was the loveliest decoration Mr. Anthony had ever seen.

The teacher looked closely at the wall. In each one of the small pieces he could read, in tiny letters, ’fool’, ’idiot’, ’pain’, ’bore’, and a thousand other negative things.

”This is how I turn all my bad times into smiles. Each time someone says something bad to me, I write it down in my joy collection and think of other joyful things, it works for me and it keeps me happy,” Jamaine told his teacher.

That day they discussed many things, but what the teacher never forgot was how an ordinary boy had shown him that the secret to having a cheerful and optimistic character is to convert the bad times into a chance to smile.

Without telling anyone, on that very day, Mr. Anthony began his own collection. He would recommend it so often to his students that, years later, they called that neighbourhood ’Art Town’. Each house contained its own magnificent works of art, made by those cheerful and optimistic children.

 

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