Let’s talk about Pooh. I’m referring to Winnie the Pooh, of course!
I have long since held a treasured affinity for this certain, endearing bundle of matted, brown fur. My fondness I shall never outgrow, though Christopher Robin did . . . almost.
I recently took my granddaughter to see the movie “Christopher Robin” and must confess, that silly ol’ bear tugged at my heartstrings. I. Was. Smitten. Although my granddaughter enjoyed the film, I realized early into the viewing this was a movie perhaps more intended for adults. Naturally, Pooh and his friends were adorable; however, there lay some precious nuggets of wisdom behind those bright, button eyes belonging to the bear with the plump tummy.
The movie spins a tale of a young Christopher Robin who leaves his friends deep in the Hundred Acre Wood to go to boarding school. He loses his father at a young age, leaving him to shoulder great responsibilities. He grows up, meets the love of his life, goes to war, and returns to his wife and daughter, supporting his family with his job at a luggage factory. This appears a seemingly happy scenario except for Christopher becoming somewhat of a workaholic with little time for his family, and certainly no time for any “play”.
If you’ve ever read the timeless books or seen other movies detailing the adventures of Pooh and his friends, you know it’s Christopher Robin who always came to the rescue of his animal friends. In the movie, through unusual circumstances and a chance meeting, it’s revealed that perhaps it was time for Pooh in turn to rescue Christopher. Which he finally did.
So, let’s take a look at a few of Pooh’s pearls of insight, shall we?
Pooh: “People say ‘nothing is impossible’, but I do nothing every day.”
Pooh puts a new spin on this phrase suggesting that doing nothing is sometimes okay, and while we should never stop chasing our dreams, our perspective can often change everything.
Pooh: “Sometimes when I’m going somewhere and wait, somewhere comes to me.”
In life, it’s easy to become stressed out about all things unknown. Truth is though, there’s a gentle wisdom in just allowing life to happen, as it will anyway.
Pooh: “I suppose it’s right where it needs to be.”
Here, Pooh is referring to the big tree that got him from the Hundred Acre Wood to a little park in London where he finds the grown-up Christopher, a tree which didn’t exist there before. It may be suggested that “it” could refer to many things in our lives. Even if we don’t always understand at the time, sometimes “it” is right where it needs to be.
Pooh: “I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been.” Also, “It would seem I must go forward where I have never been, or go backward where I have.”
Sometimes we need to close those old chapters in our lives and walk away from things that hinder us or hold us back, especially if we wish to grow or change.
Christopher: “Dreams don’t come for free. Nothing comes from nothing.”
Pooh: “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.”
At times, we strive so hard at pursuing a certain something we may end up missing unexpected opportunities right in front of us. It’s all about keeping our eyes open and not losing perspective of how profound some of the simple things can be.
I’d be amiss if I failed to give credence to a couple of other significant quotes from Pooh’s co-stars in the movie. First, Christopher Robin’s wife, Evelyn, makes a poignant statement to him which begins the process of his self-evaluation. She states this:
Evelyn: “Your life is happening now, right in front of you.”
Hmmm. How often do we focus so much effort on things of the future or on building our life that we forget to appreciate our present moments? There’s a lesson in learning to love our life now, as it’s occurring.
Finally, if you have any recollection from the stories, Pooh and his friends are frequently distressed by their fears of ‘Heffalumps’ and ‘Woozles’. Here’s what Christopher Robin has to say:
Christopher: “A woozle is a slinking little monster who makes everyone else do his work for him in order to make us forget what’s important.”
Ahhhh. Don’t we all have occasional run-ins with a woozle or a heffalump? The trick is to recognize them for what they are and don’t let them get the best of you.
Suffice it to say, Winnie the Pooh indeed helped Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of life and Christopher changed his earlier notion from Pooh being a bear of very little brain to Pooh being a bear of very big heart.
In closing, here’s my all-time favorite.
Pooh: “What day is it?”
Christopher: “It’s today.”
Pooh: “Oh, my favorite day.”
Oh, how we should all view our days in this fashion, cherishing each day as a gift, and being present—appreciating each moment. Pooh seemed to understand joy is a state of being rather than an emotion.
Silly ‘Ol Bear? I think not.