Life Lessons From Winnie-the-Pooh: Taoist Ideals

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are some life lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh? How does The Tao of Pooh connect those lessons to Taoism?

The Tao of Pooh is a book that uses stories from Winnie-the-Pooh to illustrate Taoism. Life lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh can be found in this connection.

Keep reading for life lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh that can be applied to society today.

Life Lessons From Winnie-the-Pooh: Current Social Crisis

If, as a collective people, we cannot turn our search for wisdom and contentment away from knowledge and cleverness and toward the natural order of things, we will suffer immensely. The great thinkers of the world have learned too much and lost compassion for others. Knowledge and cleverness have steered us away from reality because of the prominence given to information. We’ve all heard that “Knowledge is power,” and it’s true. Our powerful brains can think us into any idea or feeling we want. 

But what has this thinking been used for? Isn’t every decision in life aimed toward gaining more knowledge and power so we can feel stable and happy? With all that energy used for the wrong endeavors, how happy or stable do any of us feel? 

The people who will be successful in finding true wisdom and happiness are those capable of listening to their Inner Natures, being sensitive to circumstances, and allowing the natural flow of life to guide them. There are those who live this way now, and society tends to see them as anomalies or outliers of mainstream society. But these people are examples of what mainstream society has the ability to become if we stop manipulating the world around us. 

Each of us has the Clever Rabbit, Scholarly Owl, Negative Eeyore, and Simple Pooh inside. We typically give the rabbit and owl space to play until we become unsatisfied; then, we complain like Eeyore. This process leads to nothing useful.

If you want to be truly wise and happy, you must become Pooh, seeing the world through a childlike wonder. That attitude may be difficult to locate, but if you can, you will find your way through the forest. That’s one of the greatest life lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh.

Life Lessons From Winnie-the-Pooh: Taoist Ideals

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Tao of Pooh summary:

  • How Winnie-the-Pooh perfectly models the principles of Taoism
  • The 6 principles of Taoism reflected in Pooh's adventures
  • How to become Winnie-the-Pooh and unlock a magic inside of you

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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