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Inside Sources: Exhale and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Winnie-the-Pooh

LONDON - DECEMBER 15: A rare Winnie-the-Pooh book showing an inscription from author A.A. Milne asking for artist E.H. Shephard to decorate his tomb is displayed at a press preview at Sotheby's Auctioneers on December 15, 2008 in London. The first book featuring the silly old bear was published Oct. 14, 1926. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Who better than Winnie-the-Pooh to combat discord and division in modern times with his unique brand of wit and wisdom? 

Step back from the 2020 abyss. Amid all this turbulence in society now, Deseret News Opinion Editor Boyd Matheson delved into the wit and wisdom of Winnie-the-Pooh on his 94th birthday.

On Oct. 14, 1926, A.A. Milne’s first book chronicling the adventures of Christopher Robin and his stuffed friends — Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger — debuted and have since become a staple in every child’s bookshelf, but the lessons the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood learn are forever and for everyone, not just kids.

The wit and wisdom of Winnie-the-Pooh

“It never ceases to amaze me over the last eight months just how weary people have become,” Boyd said. “And that weariness is dangerous. It leads to discouragement depression and anxiety. It can lead to breakdown in communication in families and communities. It can cause us to lash out to people we disagree with. It’s time to take a little exhale.”

Boyd observed that during the contentious nominating process for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, Republicans and Democrats are talking past each other, which reminded him of one of his favorite pieces of wisdom from Pooh:

If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

“Senators from both sides of the aisle may have had stuffing packed in their ears over the last two days because not a whole lot of listening is happening in that space to be sure,” Boyd said. 

Boyd said that we could all use a little adventure today into the Hundred Acre Wood.

“A time with friends, a time with people we care about. Really making sure we get to the essence of things. You find out what’s essential when you don’t have as much time or when you’re really overwhelmed with a host of other things going on . . . Winnie the Pooh understands what is essential,” Boyd said. 

The Percipience of Pooh

You’re braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think,” Christopher Robin famously told Pooh.

 “I think we could all use that reinforcement just about any day,” Boyd said.

You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes,” said Pooh.

How often do we hunker down in our corner of the house or office or community and don’t reach out and expect them to come to us? Boyd asked.

“I know a lot of relationships have been ruined simply because neither was willing to go to the other person,” Boyd noted, which applies to political and community issues as well.

“We’re not nearly as divided as a nation as some people want us to believe,” Boyd said.

He closed with another pearl from Pooh: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.