Friday 14 October marks 90 years since the very first Winnie-the-Pooh book was published.
And while he might have famously been described by his creator, A. A. Milne, as “a bear of very little brain”, new research reveals that many Brits consider Pooh to have been a pretty wise guy.
A quarter of the British population believe that they can learn more about life from Winnie-the-Pooh than from history’s greatest philosophers, including Confucius, Aristotle and Plato, according to a survey conducted in September 2016.
Independent research company Fly Research questioned 1,000 adults aged 18 and over from across the UK to find out just how much Pooh still matters. They discovered that two-thirds (63%) believed that Winnie-the-Pooh provides invaluable advice about friendship and love, while over 30% said that they had been inspired by the honey bear’s pearls of wisdom.
To celebrate Pooh’s 90th birthday, Disney has released a collection of the UK’s favourite 10 pieces of Winnie-the-Pooh wisdom – and we’ve got them right here.
1. “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
2. “If the string breaks, try another piece of string.”
3. “The most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you.”
4. “It isn’t much good having anything exciting, if you can’t share it with somebody.”
5. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
6. “Never let things come to you, go out and fetch them.”
7. “You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
8. “Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more… to give way to the happiness of the person you love.”
9. “It’s best to know what you’re looking for before you look for it.”
10. “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
Dr Catherine McCall created the Masters and Ph.D programmes in Philosophical Inquiry at Glasgow University, and is a patron of The Philosophy Foundation. She has developed a theory as to why Winnie-the-Pooh’s attitude towards life still resonates today.
“Winnie-the-Pooh may never have had a university degree or even gone to school, but his words, experiences and adventures have stood the test of time,” she says. “‘Poohisms’ encapsulate the thinking of many famous philosophers in beautiful, clear and memorable sayings that have inspired children and parents for generations.
“Human beings are at heart philosophical animals – children know this, but sometimes adults forget,” Dr McCall continues. “Pooh is able to remind us and make us think philosophically, by playing with words in a way that help us to understand the meaning of life."
Images courtesy of Disney.