Anne Shirley is one of my all-time favourite literary characters. I loved her when I was ten and four decades later, she’s still at the top of my list of heroes.
I think it’s because she never simply accepts the hand she’s dealt. Whether it’s being an orphan or taking the blame for getting her best friend drunk, Anne does whatever she has to to solve the problem. She asks for what she wants and, if nobody hands it to her (they rarely do, of course), she makes it happen herself.
I admire that drive and the pure spirit in which she implements it. She’s ambitious, sure, but for things that I can relate to: love, belonging, education, goodness.
She often fails, or thinks she does, but she keeps trying.
Her efforts aren’t half-hearted, either; she puts her whole heart and soul and mind into every one.
If I’d had a daughter I'd have been very tempted to name her Anne, but it's more direct simply to emulate her myself.
So when the going gets tough I now ask myself, "What would Anne do?"