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benjamin hoff The Tao of Pooh

What Does Pooh Eat for Breakfast?
"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,"
said piglet at last, "What's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.
The dialogue above was taken from the book, "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. These lines contain an important philosophy. They convey that most people take each day for granted. Every day is given to us free. We decide whether to take advantage of this privilege or not. A day offers so many new things in our lives. However, there are times that we ignore these things. As humans we have several flaws. The biggest flaw being, that we are never satisfied with what we have. We always want to reach for something better. We always seem to ignore the good things that can be fed to our soul. At the same time we forget about the needy people, who have nothing, and ambition for more money, clothes, trips, etc.
"What's for breakfast?" is a very simple question. It can be interpreted to what we are feeding our minds throughout the day? Every single day has something new that we can attain in our fountain of knowledge. A student in school is provided with different kinds of information. Many students choose to ignore the information and waste their time doing something else. On the other hand there are other young kids and teenagers who do not have this opportunity, who would love to have it. We are blind because there are so many things that are given to us by our parents, friends, bosses, or even teachers. If we would listen closely to what everyone says to us, our minds would be full of opinions from different viewpoints. To some of us it might seem like useless information, but advice from a parent, an event in history from your teacher, or a smart idea from your boss can help in the future. There is always something to learn every single day. If we are smart, we will take advantage of our surroundings. What are we going to have or breakfast tomorrow? We can choose either ignorance or intelligence.
Piglets hope for something exciting implies that we are never pleased with what we have. When we are babies we want a toy, when we are kids we want a bicycle, when we are teenagers we want a car, and the pattern never ends. As humans we will always want more than what we have. We might get to the point where some of us have money, cars, and a family, but there will always be something missing.  The rest of the people are poor and want the commodities that the rich posses. People act selfish; they ignore the fact that they are missing an arm, eye or a leg. It is hard for humans to realize what good things they do have rather than the good things that they don't have. "It's the same thing," Pooh was expecting the same thing to happen this day. Our days can easily become a pattern. We find ourselves doing the same things over and over each day. There is a time when we become fatigued and go in search of an adventure. It is not that we have boring lives; it is that we can never fulfill our own needs. Many of us have to learn how to appreciate the things that we have. We need to be thankful for the free things in life rather than worrying about worldly materials.
This message was well portrayed in the book. Children are the best example to this philosophy. They ask for so many different things. Typical parents like to spoil them by buying them candy, a toy, or a new Disney movie. At a young age we cannot distinguish what we deserve from what we do not. We want everything whether we are good or bad. Of course, at that time we do not act selfish on purpose, we just want everything that shines. As we grow older, we remain acting like selfish kids. ... more

benjamin hoff

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Tao Of Pooh And Taoism

In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff uses the characters from Winnie the Pooh to
explain the fundamentals of Taoism. By observing the actions of Eeyore, Piglet,
Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, and Pooh, he decides that the action of the character Pooh
best describes Taoism. The most important principle of Taoism is the Uncarved
Block. Hoff uses Pooh to best explain the Uncarved Block. The principle of the
Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own
natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is
changed. He uses these characters to show how things can be spoiled and lost and
also how things can just work out. Hoff uses Rabbit to show that when you always
have to be on the run doing something and being busy, usually you miss things
and you do not enjoy life. It can often screw up things to always have to figure
things out and always feel like you are important. He uses Owl to show that when
you are always looking for a reason for something then it often makes things too
complicated. Hoff uses Piglet in the sense that Piglet is always scared and
hesitating things, if Piglet would not hesitate, he would get things done in a
much more efficient way. He should just do, not think. Hoff explains the
character of Eeyore by showing how he is always worried about things; he frets a
lot. If he would not do that, then life would be much easier for Eeyore. And
finally, there is Pooh. Hoff shows how Pooh does not think or ponder about
things; he just does them. Things always work out for Pooh because of this. Pooh
works along with nature and he does not try to interfere. Pooh leads a simple
life. This can also be explained as the life and actions of a Taoist. Hoff's
purpose of this book is a didactic purpose. He wrote the book to inform people
of Taoism. He wanted to teach the ways and beliefs of a Taoist. He wanted to
teach in a way that everyone could understand or relate too, that is why he used
Winnie the Pooh. Everybody understands Pooh. He thought that it would be an easy
and simple way to get the point across to not just the scholarly, but the normal
public. For example, Hoff states: "we won't try too hard or explain too
much, because that would only Confuse things, and because it would leave the
impression that it was all only an intellectual idea that could be left on the
intellectual level and ignored." (p. 10) He uses each chapter of the book
to teach a new principle of the Uncarved Block of Taoism. In each chapter he
tells a Winnie the Pooh story and then explains how it relates to Taoism. Hoff
writes a chapter teaching how cleverness does not always help, but it sometimes
destroys things and is the reason that things do not work out. Hoff teaches that
the Taoist believe that if you understand Inner Nature it is far more effective
than knowledge or cleverness. He uses a poem "Cottleston Pie". The
poem explains how things just are as they are and how people try to violate
these principles with their everyday lives. He also uses a story of Tigger and
Roo. Tigger tries to be something he is not and he ends up just screwing things
up and getting stuck in a tree. Hoff also explains that working with Nature is
best in the sense that you do not screw things up with a story about Eeyore
getting stuck in the river. Everybody had been trying to think of clever ways to
get Eeyore out of the river when Pooh said that if they just dropped a big stone
into it, then it would just wash Eeyore ashore. He did it without even thinking,
because thinking would complicate things, and of course it worked. Pooh worked
with Nature and things worked out for him. As you can see, Hoff uses many
different Winnie the Pooh stories to teach the uncomplicated ways of the Taoist.
The only arguments that Hoff really presents is whether or not the Taoist way is
the best way and whether or not it really works. When you look at it from the
point of Pooh and the stories from The House at Pooh Corner you really believe
that what the Taoist believe is the best ... more

benjamin hoff

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  • E: The Tao of Pooh E: The Tao of Pooh The Tao of Pooh What Does Pooh Eat for Breakfast? When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, said piglet at last, Whats the first thing you say to yourself? Whats for breakfast? said Pooh. What do you say, Piglet? I say, I wonder whats going to happen exciting today? said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. Its the same thing, he said. The dialogue above was taken from the book, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. These lines contain an important philos...
  • N: Tao Of Pooh And Taoism N: Tao Of Pooh And Taoism Tao Of Pooh And Taoism In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff uses the characters from Winnie the Pooh to explain the fundamentals of Taoism. By observing the actions of Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, and Pooh, he decides that the action of the character Pooh best describes Taoism. The most important principle of Taoism is the Uncarved Block. Hoff uses Pooh to best explain the Uncarved Block. The principle of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natur...
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  •  : Tao Of Pooh And Taoism : Tao Of Pooh And Taoism Tao Of Pooh And Taoism In The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff uses the characters from Winnie the Pooh to explain the fundamentals of Taoism. By observing the actions of Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, and Pooh, he decides that the action of the character Pooh best describes Taoism. The most important principle of Taoism is the Uncarved Block. Hoff uses Pooh to best explain the Uncarved Block. The principle of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natur...
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