A few weeks ago, I made this inspirational poster and put it on Facebook after seeing this quote on my friend Jen’s post at Jungle of Life. The response was tremendous… 72 shares! It made me realize how much wisdom there is in the writings of A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh series.
Alan Alexander Milne was a London playwright who wrote these tales for his son, Christopher Robin Milne in 1926. Winnie the Pooh was based on a bear at the London Zoo. All the other characters, except for Owl and Rabbit, were named after Christopher Robin’s stuffed animals.
Children and adults love Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Each character has a wonderful message to send out to the world: Owl and the quest for knowledge, Eyeore and pessimism, Piglet and bravery, Tigger and believing in yourself and … Pooh and Taoism.
Yes, Taoism. Have you ever heard of the book, The Tao of Pooh? I’ve wanted to read it and just ordered it from Amazon.
I read up a little on Taoism and loved what I read:
Tao means “The path” in Chinese. Lao Tzu, was the founder and first teacher of Taoism about 640 BCE. The proper path in life, says Taoism, is one that works in harmony with reality, the essence of the natural universe. Taoists believe that life should be peaceful and filled with joy. We should recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it.
The author, Benjamin Hoft, of The Tao of Pooh wrote the book based on the principles of Taoism and the ‘uncarved block’.
“One of the basic principles of Taoism is P’U; the Uncarved Block. The essence of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed. Which brings us to Pooh, the very Epitome of the Uncarved Block. When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times.”***
On living in the moment:
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
On being zen-like:
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”
“ ‘Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
On getting older and trying to remember:
“Think, think, think.”
“Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.”
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”
On understanding the meaning of life:
“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”
On listening skills:
“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”
“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
No wonder Winnie the Pooh appeals to children! A.A. Milne often said he didn’t write the Pooh-books just for children in the first place. He is still teaching me about life today!
I have decided to get two books of The Tao of Pooh and give one away. Please comment below if you’d like to get The Tao Of Pooh!
**If you like this, you may like a post I wrote called the Tao Of Charlotte A. Cavatica, based on the writings of E.B. White.
***pictures and the “uncarved block” paragraph from Just Pooh.com.