You know that you are getting old when you read stories to your grandchildren that you read to your children, and your parents had read those same stories to you. Interestingly, one of the favorite stories that all three generations enjoyed was Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. Milne wrote a series of stories about Winnie, Tigger, Piglet, Tanga, Owl, Eeyore, Roo, and Rabbit nearly a century ago. I am sure that my parents listened to their parents read about Winnie and all his friends.
My two youngest grandchildren, Jack and Owen have had the Winnie-the-Pooh stories read to them by their parents and grandparents. I have written two articles about Winnie and Christopher Robin, since they need to understand about life from Milne's perspective. The first was about Christopher Robin saying to Winnie, "Promise me you'll always remember that you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
The second article pushes Christopher Robin's point even further by giving Jack and Owen the encouragement to explore the vast world that lies before them.
Recently, I talked to a good friend of mine, Mike Schmitt. He and I are attempting to figure out what additional job I might like to find. I will never quit working. I told him about my legacy issue. I realize that having danced with death twice already that I will not always be able to lead death as I have in the past. Therefore, leaving a legacy to my three grandchildren, my three children, and the world beyond is critically important to me personally.
Mike and I have talked about this legacy issue many times especially due to the issue of dancing with death. While I am healthy and happy, I know that I am not immortal. Therefore, I need to act and act now. Mike emailed a link to Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. Pausch has also danced with death due to pancreatic cancer. If you think that I am driven about life and living, watch this video after you read this article. Pausch was determined to live life as he is dying of cancer.
In Pausch's Last Lecture, he mentions two of Milne's characters in Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. While most of my readers know about them, my guess is that many might not know the larger story behind Tigger and Eeyore. Tigger comes to Winnie's front door late one night. Winnie invites him into his home, and adopts him into his family.
Tigger bounces his way through life on his tail. He says, "Bouncing's what Tiggers do best!" He is proud of his bounce in life and wants others to enjoy bouncing their way through their lives.
Nonetheless, Tigger is far more than merely a bouncing and an exuberant animal. He is a thinker, optimistic, hopeful, and imaginative. He also wants to leave a legacy in his world.
On the other hand, Eeyore is not the clone of Tigger. He is not bouncing around life on his tail like Tigger. In fact, he often loses his tail. We would describe Eeyore as morose, gloomy, negative, and a depressed donkey.
Interestingly, Pausch knows both Tigger and Eeyore quite well and addresses the issue surrounding both of them. Bear in mind, Pausch dies due to pancreatic cancer ten months after his Last Lecture. Pausch, in his Last Lecture, wants us to think about who we are in life. The choice is either Tigger or Eeyore.
Our choice is clear. Pausch reminds us all as he is dying, "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." Play your hand as Tigger does.
These are two videos about Tigger and Eeyore:
Visit the The Last Lecture page to read more about this topic.