Hilda the Happy Hippo
Hilda the Happy Hippo wasn’t always as happy as she is today. She used to think it was the job of her parents, teachers and friends to make her happy. To feel happy, she always had to be the center of attention and get her way.
Hilda did not have many friends, because she was always so bossy. Hilda wanted what she wanted, when she wanted it and how she wanted it. Behind her back, her friends called her Harping Hilda, because she complained and argued about EVERYTHING!! One time during a soccer game, Hilda argued with the referee and got a red card. That meant she had to sit out the whole rest of that game and the next one.
Hilda started to notice she was alone a lot of the time and that made her feel sad. Even her best friend Nelda, didn’t want to play with her anymore. The last time they were together Hilda heard the girls calling her Harping Hilda.
One day, she decided to pack a picnic lunch and head for the neighborhood park. As she sat eating her grass and twigs on the park bench, Oliver the Wise Owl was perched in a tree looking down on Hilda. “WHoo…WHoo…Whoo are you? Oliver the Wise Owl asked.
Hilda introduced herself and went on eating her lunch. Oliver the Wise Owl was very observant. He noticed Hilda had a frown on her face and said, “A frown is a smile turned upside down! What has you looking so blue?”
Hilda found herself telling the Wise Owl about not having any friends and about feeling all alone. Oliver was a very good listener and Hilda shared some of the hurtful things she’d overheard her friends say about her. Hilda discovered it felt good to talk about how sad she felt. “Oliver, how can I get Nelda to be my friend again?”
Oliver the Wise Owl asked Hilda if she was willing to do a little work. Hilda said, ‘Yes, I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I miss Nelda!”
“Well Hilda, first you have to take responsibility for your actions and apologize to Nelda. Being a good friend means that it’s not always about you. Sharing and taking turns makes everyone feel valued. You have to give love to receive love.”
“Then, you can choose your attitude. You have a choice to be positive about life or be negative and complain. Most people want to be around friends who make them feel loved, valued and happy.”
“True happiness comes from inside a person, Hilda. It starts with loving yourself and having a grateful heart. When your friends feel that love, they’ll want to be your friend.”
Hilda walked home, thinking about what Oliver the Wise Owl had said. Hilda decided she had two choices; be sad and lonely or try to apologize to Nelda.
Nelda was so happy Hilda came to say she was sorry for being bossy. From that day on, Hilda tried to have a positive outlook and be a friend who shared the spotlight and took turns. Soon, Hilda the Happy Hippo had many friends to play with.
Do you know someone who is bossy or complains a lot?
When you are around someone with a negative attitude, how does it make you feel? Do you find yourself being negative and complaining too?
How could you help that person have a more positive attitude?