Monthly message from the vicar
On Tigger and Eeyore
The wonderful things about Tigger is that they are bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun. Hmm… I’m temperamentally more of an Eeyore myself.
When I’m feeling inclined to gloomy expectations and pessimism it is easy to look at the Tigger-ish people in my life with a jaundiced eye. Mostly I remain aware that I need the positivity and energy of optimists around to keep me going and often Tiggers can make me laugh with them and at myself in a way that renews a better sense of perspective.
In a school governors’ subcommittee meeting we were laughing about these differences of style and personality, and touched briefly on the ways that other people might see us very differently especially if we find ourselves feeling bouncy over stuff other people find difficult. Maybe you prefer an accountant you work with to be an apparent Eeyore, even if in their passion for numbers, strategy and calculation faced with a financial challenge they are secret Tiggers.
Yet the joy of AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories is that Tiggers and Eeyores (and Kangas and Piglets) all have a part to play. The same is true in our villages and churches – the more we can work with and welcome a variety of approaches, styles and personalities the richer the team of which we are a part becomes and the more likely it is that together we can do more. A Tigger may sometimes need the realism of an Eeyore, and we all know that Pooh is often encouraged and enabled by the kindness and understanding of Piglet.
In the language of my faith I’m reminded of this in two ways – the creation stories of Genesis outline a world in which God delights in the amazing diversity of things that squirm and wriggle, fly and swim and the letters of Paul are always reminding the earliest gatherings of Christians that we are one body and need the gifts of even the oddest shaped little toe or the bristliest eyebrow.
Perhaps in bigger towns or cities it is easier to gather enough people for a task or celebration only among the like minded, and sometimes in smaller villages sometimes the contrasting styles of an Eeyore and a Tigger can feel more challenging without the dilution effect of larger numbers.
And yet….if, in our smaller communities,
we can learn to recognise the value of people who
are the same as we are, we may model a
fuller and richer pattern of living and