"Hallooooooooo!" as my enthusiastic hero would say, whilst bouncing into the room on his spring-coiled tail.
If you haven't had the pleasure of 'meeting' Tigger, you don't know what you're missing. He's one of the best role models on the planet. He came bouncing (on his tail, coiled into a spring) into the Hundred Acre Wood one day, bringing with him a colourful burst of energy and a zest for life that Christopher Robin's friends had never seen before. "I'm Tigger!" he announced. "T- I- double-guh-err. Tigger!"
He sums himself up quite well in the Tigger song... (Do yourself a favour and enjoy this delightful one minute video before reading further!)
One of Winnie-the-Pooh's best friends, Tigger is about as extroverted and cheerful as anyone can be. Occasionally, there is one mishap or another because of his excessive enthusiasm, or his overly optimistic beliefs about what he can do - without ever having tried, and when he does, it often goes awry.
All the others who live with him in the Hundred Acre Wood have varying reactions to his boisterous bouncing. Pooh is patient and tolerant of pretty much anyone and anything. Easy-going and non-judgemental, he accepts Tigger for who he is, including his faults (and Tigger is not aware of any of them).
Always saying that Tigger is very large, Piglet is a little nervous in his presence (but then, he's always a little nervous about something). He's never quite sure what Tigger is going to do next and worries that he'll cause some terrible disaster (because...well, it's a common occurrence!).
Roo looks up to Tigger with hero-worshipping adoration. Eeyore, as gloomy and depressed as anyone could be while still drawing breath, is quietly envious, wishing he could be as happy as Tigger but believing - and accepting - that misery is his lot in life.
And then there's Rabbit. Not all sweet and cuddly like you'd think someone called Rabbit should be. Oh, no. He's a curmudgeon of the first order. As curmudgeonly as they come. Short-tempered and irritable on his best days, he's got absolutely no patience for Tigger's enthusiasm and bouncing and is always telling him to go away, or stop bouncing, or both. But Tigger is oblivious to Rabbit's dislike of him. He carries on being his lovable Tigger Self, unaware that his effervescence is driving Rabbit over the edge.
One day, Tigger excitedly bounces his way through Rabbit's garden, accidentally ruining it while innocently being himself. Thoroughly fed up, Rabbit devises a plan to lose Tigger once and for all in the misty woods. But Rabbit is the one who ends up lost (and frightened - and with a lot to think about) when it is Tigger who rescues him "...because Tiggers never get lost!"
And aren't we lucky that they don't! Think of the Tiggers in your life. You know the ones. Those delightfully cheerful, ever-optimistic people who brighten up even the most miserably dark day, sometimes just with a few bubbly words and a big, broad smile. Or those playful, childlike people who love a good dose of silliness, and who do their best to make you giggle. How do they do it? How do they put on those big smiles and seem so genuinely happy all the time? Don't they have problems, too?
Of course they do. And Tigger does, too. He takes a lot of criticism and gets a lot of grief from his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, and bad things happen to him, just as they do to his friends. But he's got a great attitude. If things ever get him down, he refuses to stay there. He chooses to look at the bright side, to focus on finding the joy in life, to see the good in all situations. He's a brilliant role model for children and adults alike.
Many of us could stand to be a lot more like Tigger. Personally speaking, I work at that every day.
And to that, my fuzzy striped hero would say, with his big Tigger smile, and an even bigger Tigger bounce, "Woo-hoo-hoo-HOOOOOOO!!"