I recently took a trip to the cinema to watch the new(ish) Disney film Christopher Robin. Despite Winnie the Pooh’s association with childhood, I feel that there are a few things we could all learn from this lovable little yellow bear. I want to share with you six of my favourite quotations from the film; for me, there is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye.
- W. T.P: What day is it?
W.T.P: My favourite day
In other words, live in the now. Winnie the Pooh doesn’t spend his time worrying about what happened yesterday, or wondering what tomorrow will be like. He appreciates the present moment and enjoys today for what it is. In our busy modern world, we can spend a lot of time worrying about the future and how our actions will affect tomorrow. Or we spend time dwelling on what happened in the past and how we could have done things differently, when realistically, there is nothing we can to do change any of it. I know what you’re thinking, Winnie the Pooh doesn’t have any pressing financial worries or career aspirations, so obviously it is easier for him to enjoy today. Even so, I think there is a lot to be said for focusing on the present and trying to suppress worries about the future. Because who really knows what is around the corner?
2. E. R: Your life is happening now, right in front of you.
Again, Christopher Robin’s wife, Evelyn, sees the dangers in only thinking about the future. Contextually, this quotation comes as a response to Christopher suggesting that he needs to work exceptionally hard and miss out on family time in order to create a future where his family are financially secure. She reminds both him and viewers that there is more to life than money; happy memories and time with loved ones account for so much more.
- W.T.P: I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I have been.
Winnie the Pooh suggests that the road to progress is not repetition. Leaving the past behind is the only way to move forward. His anecdote shows that having a set path or plan isn’t necessarily important, but learning from the past in order to get to somewhere better is. The more new things we try, whether that be career-related or a hobby, the more we will learn about ourselves and what we like/dislike. That, therefore, is progression.
4. WT.P: Doing nothing always leads to the very best kind of something.
Now, I don’t think Pooh really means doing nothing because he does walk around the wood fighting Heffalumps and Woozles. However, he seems to be drawing attention to the importance of play and relaxation. Contrary to popular ideology that hard work and effort leads to a reward, this statement, for me, shows what enjoyment can come from chill-time and what memories can be made when you least expect it. When at university, I found that taking time out to chill rather than working all of the time actually made me more productive.
5. C.R: I’ve cracked
W.T.P: Oh I don’t see any cracks. A few wrinkles, maybe.
Christopher Robin’s despair is brought back into perspective by Pooh. His literal remark, which is on the surface a little silly, actually works to remind Christopher that thankfully, all that has happened to him physically, is ageing. Pooh, in other words, reminds Christopher of the most important thing: that he is alive and in one piece. When something goes wrong I, like so many people, am guilty of over-reacting and acting like it’s the end of the world. Pooh reminds us that, actually, being alive and well is the most important thing.
6. C.R: There’s more to life than balloons and honey
W.T.P: Are you sure?
Christopher Robin, who in the real world has been exposed to materialistic desire, cannot see the joy in balloons and honey. Society has conditioned us into thinking we need various expensive items, such as the latest phone or item of clothing. However, Pooh’s question reminds us of how important it is to appreciate the simple things. That may be the flavours in the simplest foods, or the feeling after a long walk, or even, like Pooh, the joy experienced through the childhood memories associated with balloons.
For those of you who assumed Winnie the Pooh was merely a children’s tale, I hope my reflections have proved otherwise. I think it’s fair to say that, sometimes, we could all do with taking a leaf out of Winnie the Pooh’s book, or I should say, taking a spoonful of honey from his jar!
W.T.P – Winnie the Pooh
C.T – Christopher Robin
E.V – Evelyn Robin
Feature Photo: Screenshot from the film Christopher Robin (2018), available at https://www.flickeringmyth.com/2018/08/movie-review-christopher-robin-2018-3/ [accessed 18/10/2018]