The world sucks. Beyond the systematic problems facing society, such as racism, poverty, and sexism, people are rude, self-centered, and sometimes downright mean. Life can be demoralizing and the idea of finding happiness can seem nearly impossible. I do not know if this is a feeling across generations, or something growing increasingly more common in today’s day and age, but it is a sentiment I hear frequently. I will admit to falling into this mentality, and feeling myself becoming hopeless, depressed, and wanting to dissociate from the world. But for the most part the world is not so bad. It is actually pretty lovely. There are great trees that provide shade, homes for animals, and sense of peace when hugged. There are bee puns and memes, which make you and your friends laugh for no good reason, but you laugh anyway. There are stories that can touch your heart. For me, one of these stories has always been The World of Pooh by A. A. Milne. While some may see Winnie the Pooh as a simple children’s story, as I have reread it over the years, I have found a lot of wisdom in its pages. So, when life and/or people start to make you feel cold and close off from everything, here are ten quotes I use to help re-center myself:
1.“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
”When reaching for goals, whether it be achieving your college degree, finding your career passion, or achieving relational happiness, there are many obstacles and the road can be long and frustrating. But you will get there. While life is difficult, it can be an incredible journey, so take time to be present and trust things will work out in good time.
2. “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
Every person is biased. We each hold prejudices, and often we do not realize we hold them. But we must work to keep ourselves open, realize our prejudices, and learn from them. A lot of times, people and things we thought were dirty, stupid, or plain wrong actually hold a lot of insight and beauty we overlook from our small perspective.
3. “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.”
Think about your life. Think about how crazy busy you are, how stressed you are in trying to figure everything out, how hard today, or yesterday, or last Tuesday was. Now think about how everyone has their own lives. Lives are incredibly complicated, and everyone has their own stuff going on. So when someone does not appear to listen to you, or cuts you off in traffic, or responds a little snippy, try to be patient. While their actions are not ok, they likely do not mean to be rude. They probably have something going on in their lives that makes them forget that other people have important lives too.
4. “I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”
While this quote from a character who is physically lost, it applies well to being mentally lost. During different times of your life, you may feel really confused, alone, and have no idea what you really want. It is ok. It is hard, but it is ok. Try to think of this as a period of growth and discovery for you. Things will work out, you will find what you need, but for now, try to be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to feel lost, but remember to keep going. You’ll find your way eventually.
5. “I don’t feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There there," said Piglet. "I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.”
When days come when you things get really hard, when you are feeling really low and hopeless, remember to take care of yourself. Bad days will come. When they do, remember you are worthy of love and support. If you are having a difficult time believing in this for yourself, find a loved one you trust. The people who love you want you to be safe and happy, and if they can help that, they will.
6. “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
Take moments to take stock of things you have to be grateful for in your life. Even when things feel like they are falling apart, the world has a lot to offer. By taking a minute to think of a few things you have to be grateful for, you can open your perspective and remember life has beautiful moments.
7. “What day is it?" [asked Pooh]
‘It's today," squeaked Piglet.
‘My favorite day," said Pooh.”
Each day is a new day. It is an opportunity to turn things around from the previous day, or continuing to make progress. Today is a day to go on an adventure, take the next step towards your goal, or just take a day to relax. Today may be a good day or a bad day, but regardless of what it is, it is a new day.
8. “You can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.”
It is important to try. It is important to care. If you really want something, and really go for it, people will respect you for it. However, there will be days when things fall apart. There will be days when you break down, and you cannot try that day. Be kind to yourself on those days. When things fall apart, take a day to just care about yourself. You can try again tomorrow.
9. “How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh”
Live your life. Express your emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger, love, they are all so much more than you can get from poems. Experience love, romantic, platonic, and familial. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
10.“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
This one speaks for yourself. Please do not forget it.
Bonus: “What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”