“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
-Eeyore (A. A. Milne)
I am a huge fan of A. A. Milne. His writing style is clever, yet child-like at the same time. I think his writing can really be appreciated by all ages. A. A. Milne is most popular for his character, Winnie the Pooh. (Although Christopher Robin would tell you it is actually Winnie ther Pooh. 😉 We’ve all been getting it wrong.) Despite being an author for children’s books, there is a lot of solid life advice within his books. Between every heffelump trap, and great “expotition” to the North Pole, there is a beautiful nugget of truth to help you and I live better.
Eeyore is a very misunderstood character. Everyone thinks he is just the sad, depressed character. We can learn a lot from him though. He goes out of his way to help his friends. When Owl loses his house, he searches high and low for a new house. He really thinks about all living things around him, and treats them how he would want to be treated. He loves unconditionally, and finds beauty in everything, including weeds.
The reason he appears so depressed to all of us, is that he expects the same attitude from everyone around him, and is consistently let down. He would do anything for his friends, yet they can’t even seem to remember when his birthday is. Owl didn’t even recognize his tail when he found it. It became an accessory for his new door bell. Eeyore, like all of us, wants to be noticed. He wants to be loved. When Pooh and Christopher Robin think of him, and then help him, he is so happy, he frolics around the forest, waving his tail as he goes.
So what can we learn from Eeyore? We can take the good as inspiration, and discard the bad, and learn from his mistakes.
Love all others around you. Think about things from their perspective, and think of things that might make life easier for them. Remember their birthday, or what they were working on last week, and ask them how it is going. See the good in everyone (even those that appear to be weeds), and spend time to get to know them. It is really easy to get caught up in a self-centered life, and forget about those around you. How does a more postitive attitude benefit you? It does, trust me. It’s called friendship. It’s really hard to approach it this way, and takes a lot more effort, but it is well worth it. You will have more deep, meaningful relationships, and you will be happier in the long-run.
Eeyore forgets that his friends are imperfect. He is often let down by high expectations. You can’t control what other people do, so basing your happiness levels on other people’s actions is setting yourself up for disappointment. It sounds cynical, but you have to decide to be happy. You can’t let outside forces decide something that important for you! Unlike Eeyore, you need to take control and decide that you are going to be happy every single day. If you need help, think about all of the things you have to be grateful for, and list them regularly.
You probably all know someone who plays the blame game. It’s always someone else’s fault. Whatever negative thing in their life is making them unhappy, it’s not their fault. These kinds of people are usually unhappy more often than not. Take ownership of your own life. Take responsibility for your own happiness. No one else should have control over that. Keep your friends close, but don’t expect perfection of them. Remember that you are not perfect either. Love each other, despite of imperfections.