Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne’s birthday is January 18. And in honor of his birthday, the world celebrates Winnie the Pooh Day. Though he only wrote two books about the loveable, tubby teddy bear and his friends, the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) have been retold for many decades. To celebrate, we’ve looked back on some of our favorite moments in his books, and the lessons we still practice today.
You can find ways to help others when you start thinking about their needs.
In the original Winnie-the-Pooh, the animal friends and Christopher Robin are on an adventure and decide to sit down for lunch. Eeyore does not have a lunch, but finds that when Pooh stands up, he is sitting on thistle—a great lunch for the morose donkey. Eeyore then blames Pooh for ruining his lunch by sitting on it. He says, “A little consideration, a little thought for other, makes all the difference.” Though Eeyore might have said it passive aggressively, it stands that once you know others needs, you often can solve them—even with things you may have overlooked or taken for granted.
You need to meet people half way.
In The House at Pooh Corner, Eeyore complains that he doesn’t know what his friends are up to. Rabbit then explains that while his friends are happy to come and visit, they can’t take the time to come to his house every time. Eventually Rabbit says, “It’s your fault, Eeyore. You've never been to see any of us. You just stay here in this one corner of the Forest waiting for the others to come to you. Why don't you go to them sometimes?" Eeyore knows he’s being neglectful and promises to stop by sometime soon.
Be patient with others. They might be struggling with something you may not understand at the time.
While on their adventure in The House at Pooh Corner, the animal friends are listening to Rabbit discuss a plan. Pooh keeps asking questions, annoying the rest of the group. Eventually, Piglet asks if he’s even been listening. It turns out, it’s not that he was distracted, but that he had a small piece of fluff in his ear. Knowing what happened, Rabbit catches him up.
You will move through life at your own pace.
In The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne uses a beautiful metaphor of a stream to remind us that there’s no need to rush through life. He remarks that it has “grown up” into a river and is moving more slowly because it now knows where it’s going and knows it will get there some day.
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Doing nothing is one of the best pleasures in life.
In The House at Pooh Corner, Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes best. Pooh stops, thinks, and replies that he likes spending time with his friends. Christopher Robin replies that he likes that too, but what he likes doing best is nothing or what he describes as “just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”