Sunday Snippet: A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

“Maybe it’s true. Maybe we don’t know what we have until we’ve lost it. But, maybe it’s also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until we find it.”

Sometimes, the best sources of inspiration and wisdom don’t come from the Greek philosophers or from highly educated professors dispelling esoteric information. Sometimes, we gain the greatest life lessons from material originally written for children. That was the case with a lasagna-eating cat and it’s also the case with a honey-infatuated bear.

The quote above, of course, wasn’t “written” by Winnie the Pooh. It was written by author A.A. Milne, who is responsible for the Winnie the Pooh series and all of the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood. It was from this kind of innocent insight that the book The Tao of Pooh was partly derived and it remains one of my favorite books to this day. But I digress.

“What day is it?” “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

We have a habit of taking things for granted. We develop “first world problems” like having lattes that are too foamy or smartphones whose batteries don’t last long enough, forgetting that we still have our health, our safety and our family. It is from this that modern society has developed a certain sense of entitlement. You can imagine how the finicky foodie would react when he or she suddenly loses access to clean, drinkable water.

At the same time, I think many people don’t really know what they really want and what would really make them happy. Privileged with infinite choice and possibility, we can become frozen in indecision. That ultimately makes us unhappy, because we just live with regret and thoughts of what could have been. Is it better to take life as it comes, then? Does happiness happen by accident?

Have you ever had a “where have you been all my life” kind of moment? Was it something that you wanted all along or was it something (or someone!) completely unexpected?