National Winnie the Pooh Day
A day to celebrate the child in all of us!
Few people know that January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. While on one level we can celebrate a timeless set of stories masterfully created by A. A. Milne that has been a mainstay in millions of children's lives. At a deeper level it is an opportunity to celebrate imagination and creativity at its best. After all, the base story is of a boy, Christopher Robin, who through the power of his imagination goes on wonderful adventures with animals in a whimsical forest. Who among us has not had a favorite stuffed animal that we talked to and imagined as our best friend (who still has theirs)? Who among us has not closed their eyes and imagined themselves living an adventure somewhere far away? This day is about celebrating (and encouraging) the ability of humans to be imaginative. It is about embracing all that made childhood fun, making up our own games to play with our friends. At some point as we get older we stop using our imagination as much and start to be much more serious. Maybe we all need to make some time to be a bit more whimsical, a bit more creative, and a bit more childlike.
Image Credit: mundofotos
How to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day
I would suggest if you have young children don't succumb to the obvious, which would be to read a Winnie the Pooh story (that should be something we do everyday). Rather may I suggest sitting down with them and helping them write their own story, complete with pictures. If they are too young to write, have them tell you what they could imagine if they were in the hundred acre woods. Encourage them to use their imagination and show them that this is what makes them special. It is ok to be silly and crazy, which is what makes it so much fun.
For older kids, encourage them to pick up a new book or better yet have them write their own short story. Maybe if they are more art inclined have them create something that uses their imagination, a drawing, a sculpture, even a wood whittle. For all of us without children, try to take the time to be creative. Maybe this means working on a scrapbook, knitting something, or maybe take an hour to really try to invent something new. This day is about celebrating all that is great in our society that actively encourages people to invent, imagine and stretch themselves.
Some of our greatest innovators, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird or Larry Page have all let their mind wander and imagine the impossible as actually possible. Maybe we all could take a few minutes and imagine a different and better world in some small way.
Some controversy, yet a silver lining in true Pooh fashion
I would be remiss if I did not bring up a controversy that has come to my attention in relation to Winnie the Pooh stories. It speaks of how each character is actually the embodiment of a psychological condition. For instance Winnie the Pooh as a chronic over-eater, Eeyore battling depression, Tigger with ADHD, Piglet with general anxiety disorder, and the list continues. While we may never know if this was A. A. Milnes's intent or just a facet of a creative story with unique characters with personalities, this is an opportunity to acknowledge that there are many people who have real psychological challenges. By understanding that there are real psychological diseases that afflict friends and family, this goes a long way to helping those people in our lives as they fight to lead normal lives. In many of the stories of Winnie the Pooh these characters learn to conquer their underlying issues and come out stronger. Hopefully this can be an inspiration to us all that we are all flawed persons, yet with creativity and good intent we all can be great people. Let us not look down on others, but see everyone as unique and wonderful people.
When it rains, grab a friend and an umbrella! Not a bad message to think about everyday.
Will you celebrate National Winnie the Pooh Day?
Favorite Quotes from various Winnie the Pooh stories
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.
If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.
Piglet: 'Pooh?' Pooh: 'Yes, Piglet?' Piglet: 'I've been thinking...' Pooh: 'That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet.'
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.
Love is taking a few steps backward (maybe even more)...to give way to the happiness of the person you love.