Friday Reflection – Christopher Robin

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This weekend we had the usual flicking through content and channels trying to decide what to watch as a family – sometimes too much choice doesn’t seem to help anyone. Anyway, we settled on Disney’s 2018 part-animated, part live-action film Christopher Robin, starring Ewan McGregor.

The Film picks up where A. A. Milne’s last Winnie the Pooh book, House at Pooh Corner written in 1928 left off. Pooh and friends are having a farewell party for Christopher Robin who is about to set off for boarding school. We fast forward through Christopher’s young life at boarding school, from being a soldier in the Second World War to getting married and becoming a Dad. He is now an adult with responsibilities, is downtrodden at work (making efficiencies), he is a man in a grey suit, much like the chap behind me, he has forgotten who he is, he has lost his way and lost what is important, including Pooh, and as such is heading for breakdown and divorce. I could definitely relate to some of that during my corporate career – whatever happened to the long-haired art student I once was?

The film is positive, uplifting and heart-warming. As we watch this familiar adult lost in the world reconnect with their youth and their inner child, remembering something of the boy he once was we see him rediscover everything truly important in life.

There are several lessons you can take from the film but these are three that jumped out at me:

1. Firstly: Don’t let go of the past but rather learn from it, take it and use it to positively move forward. At one point when they are lost in a 100-acre wood, Christopher Robin says: “I wonder which way” and Pooh’s response is “I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been.”.

2. Secondly: Something can come from nothing. Another great line from Pooh in the film is “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day. Doing nothing often leads to the very best something.” So stop looking down at screens and phones, look up and look around with a sense of wonder and experience the world. I know that sometimes I have to stop for clarity or the best ideas to come.

3. Thirdly: (and for me the film’s overarching theme) remember what is important. This is not just about giving time to those you love rather than to your job or career but truly being present and connecting with them. It is also about simplicity and innocence about doing something you enjoy often, it is about having fun, playing and laughing. At one point Christopher says “There’s more to life than balloons and honey,” Pooh’s simple response is “Are you sure?”

The message is about mindfulness, if you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, if you embrace simplicity and wonder then maybe life becomes more fun and enjoyable. After all what was wrong with four channels on a TV?