I was looking through my bookshelf and came across Life Lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh. They are very light-hearted, but also make a lot of sense.
A LESSON IN DOING NOTHING
“Where are we going?” said Pooh. “ Nowhere,” said Christopher Robin. So they began going there, and after they had walked a little way Christopher Robin said: “What do you like doing best in the world Pooh?” “Well,.” said Pooh,” what I like best…” “what I like doing best is Nothing,” said Christopher Robin. “How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you are going off to do it, What are you going to do Christopher Robin? And you say Oh Nothing, and then you go and do it…. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
A LESSON IN WHICH WE FIND THAT KEEPING COMPANY WITH POOH MEANS A LONGER, HAPPIER LIFE
Well, he was humming this hum to himself, and walking gaily along….when suddenly he came to a sandy bank, and in the bank was a large hole. “Aha!” said Pooh. “Rum-tum-tiddle-um-tum. If I know anything about anything, that hole means Rabbit,” he said. “And Rabbit means Company,” he said, “and Company means Food and Listening-to-Me Humming and such like….”
POOH is a sociable bear. He has a big network of friends. He is interested in their welfare and they in his. He doesn’t have Rabbit’s large number of relatives, but his social network is more effective than Rabbit’s. And that means a lot, because the bigger your social network, the longer, happier and healthier your life is likely to be. So pop back to the Hundred Acre Wood as frequently as you can to enjoy the company of Pooh and Piglet and all the others.
There is something else available to you in the Hundred Acre Wood – peace and comfortable solitude in which you can think. Pooh is a Great Thinker. The combination of freedom of thought and companionship allows him to be at ease with himself and the others. Recognising that our thoughts influence hugely whether we feel positive or negative, is a significant discovery.
Pooh also lets go of negative thoughts. He acknowledges them (some can, some can’t) then quite rightly leaves it at that. He does not dwell on them and we can learn a lot from that. If we try to think more positively, like Pooh, we will feel a lot better about ourselves and enjoy better relationships with others.
Finding space for thought in a place where you can also find friendship is very valuable. This unique combination makes the Hundred Acre Wood a very special place, and with Pooh always there it becomes a unique place too in which friendship, sharing and caring, for yourself and others, are the Most Important Things. Which they are.
The origin of hand clapping:
Probably the earliest recorded references to this custom are in the Bible. In Psalm 47, verse 1, David instructs all people to clap their hands and shout with the voice of triumph as an act of worship to God (about 884 BC).
When Jehoash (Joash) was crowned King of Israel his supporters anointed him, clapped their hands and said: “God save the King.” (2 Kings 11:12).
The prophet Isaiah foresaw Israel being honoured by other nations and all Creation rejoicing: “the mountains and hills shall break forth into singing and all the traces of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)