Tiggers love everything. Tiggers love everything…except honey, and haycorns, and thistles and…
As Pooh put it, “ all the good things which an animal likes have the wrong sort of swallow or too many spikes”
More worryingly Pooh concludes “ whatever his weight in pounds, shillings and ounces, he always seems bigger because of his bounces.”
Despite everyone’s best efforts Tigger cannot find any breakfast. Somehow everyone just assumed Tiggers would know what they liked for breakfast.
Brexit is the new arrival in the One Hundred Acre Wood. Everyone, we are told, will love Brexit but sadly nobody knows the kind of Brexit they would like. We all will like Brexit (so the story goes) but not hard, and not soft, and not Norwegian. All the good things Brexit might bring either mean we are too in or too out and so it is too hard to swallow. Meanwhile as the deadline approaches Brexit just gets bouncier.
Whilst Tigger claims to like everything, Tigger finds it easier to decide what he does not like rather than to know what he does like. MPs are very clear what they do not want but cannot agree what they do want.
And of course what is true of MPs is actually true of us all – too often in life (and not just in Brexit) it is much easier to say what you do not want than to make a decision and say what you do want. We like keeping our options open. The moment we make a decision other options disappear and the ghost of regret threatens to haunt us.
To travel down one road means there are other paths that will not be taken. Standing at the crossroads is a place full of possibility but to realise those possibilities a decision has to be taken and some routes will never be travelled. Each of the paths on from the crossroads has its dangers, each evokes its own set of fears, but each has its opportunities too. Much depends on the attitude we bring to the journey – if we are resentful then fears may well abound, if we travel open to the adventure then surprising opportunities may be discovered. Rabbit will learn that a bouncing Tigger can be a very welcome sight.
That is the art and the beauty of travel – the adventure begins with deciding the direction of travel. The adventure unfolds because you have chosen a direction of travel. You can never know what would have happened if you had set out in a different direction of travel. There is no perfect “yes” but without a “yes” nothing happens and there is no adventure. All adventures involve good times and bad times, all have different consequences but all also have opportunities. The path you may despise is not necessarily without its blessings.
Tigger keeps visiting the inhabitants of the wood in his search for breakfast. In the end he swallows what Roo did not want and discovers that this was what Tiggers liked best – Extract of Malt; Roo’s Strengthening Medicine. Pooh thought Tigger had been strengthened quite enough but, despite Rabbit’s best efforts, Tiggers cannot be unbounced. Indeed in seeking to unbounce Tigger it is Rabbit that becomes lost and is only saved by discovering a bouncing Tigger is a thing of beauty
The decision we make about the type of Brexit may not be the best option, most likely it will bring difficult times – no journey is all smooth – but by working together even the most difficult path can be worked for good.
Tigger makes his home with Kanga. Tigger is not perhaps the ideal house companion – Roo is easily over-excited. Sadly it will be discovered that Tiggers can neither fly nor climb trees and instead are better at falling. But in the end Tigger is a welcome addition to the One Hundred Acre Wood family.
There is something very tigerish about Brexit, promising more than it can deliver, but that does not make it wrong, and does not mean we cannot befriend it and together make a success of it, which ever direction we take at the crossroads.