The Wisdom of Winnie
Updated: May 15, 2019
Image from Ernest H. Shepard/Dutton Books for Young Readers and Fatherly.com
It's the middle of the afternoon, and I'm sitting in my dining room typing, listening to relaxing instrumental music, and trying really hard not to screw up this post.
I've wanted to write since the day I became conscious of my own consciousness.
I don't really know why, except that as a young immigrant in an unfamiliar culture, my only comfort and solace was in books. Winnie the Pooh books, especially. Winnie the Pooh was my first introduction to the concept of friendship and community, and even temperament. Ever reflect on the different temperaments of Pooh and his companions? Pretty diverse, if you ask me. Yet they were all friends. And Winnie, of simple mind and humble character, was the proverbial glue that kept them all together.
Winnie didn't bother much with details. He was clear in his priorities:
Every decision he made had to do with those two things. The rest of it...life's annoyances, inconveniences, misunderstandings...were secondary, and dealt with honestly and swiftly in order to find/protect/maintain his priorities.
Winnie had no malice towards others, no ulterior motives. He was pure...purely Winnie. He didn't even bother to hide his shortcomings. Rather, he acknowledged them as an explanation for why he did things or why he needed help. In doing so, he also acknowledged the strengths of his friends. After all, they were the ones he trusted to help him.
Winnie knew his friends better than they probably even realized. He cherished them for who they were, and called them to be better versions of themselves...the versions that he saw inherent inside them...simply, and consistently. And I have a feeling Winnie (or, A. A. Milne) knew exactly what he was doing.
Couldn't we all benefit from a Pooh friend?
Better yet, couldn't everyone around us benefit if WE were that friend?