“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
Lessons from the Little Prince every adult should be reminded of.
An ambiguous masterpiece that drives creativity, wisdom and life reflection. In one story, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is able to express and tackle many issues and offer perspectives worth considering. Remarkably, he does so utilizing the little prince’s curiosity about life’s most precious thoughts. Some say that he was inspired by the death of his little brother, François, and the little prince is a way to portray brutal reality in a more colourful and positive manner. Some others advocate that the ambiguity comes from the author’s desire to narrate the story as if it was narrated by a child.
Either way, the little prince is a marvellous story and here are my takeaways.
- Adults should read this book!
Talking to friends, I realized that most people who read the little prince, did so when they were kids, most likely as part of their school curriculum. The novella indeed has some sort of a childish style which could make one think it is just for children. Having read the little prince a few times now, I came to the realization that it's when you are an adult, not a kid, that you read and reflect on it the most. Why?
“Only the children know what they are looking for.”
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
As the railway switchman said to the little prince, adults are unsatisfied and they always rush from one place to another, whereas children are simply more aware of the present as they look outside the window of the train!
2. Uniqueness and love are individually subjective and important.
The little prince found love in the eyes of the rose, and as we all know love feels so special. The little prince felt hugely betrayed when he found on planet earth that his beloved rose was not so unique, as more of the same existed. Love disappointment is a natural consequence but what he learned, when talking to the wise fox is that,
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The fox asked the little prince to “tame him” — meaning to create a bond (friendship) between the two. It would need patience and it is not an easy process but it is what we humans should do to allow our hearts to see what the eyes can’t. We connect with so many individuals throughout our life but some would mean more than others. Those are the ones we tamed, this is what makes someone unique to us and brings us love!
3. Be aware of being lonely, not alone.
When the little prince arrived on earth, he landed in Africa, where he met the snake for the very first time. His purpose on earth was to meet people but he found no one in the desert.
“ “Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.”
4. The power of self-reflection is infinite.
“It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom.”
Although I am no advocate of being highly critical of oneself, I would interpret this as one’s ability to understand his actions and feelings. It is simply much easier for us to look at the others, in fact, our eyes are destined like that, but as we already discussed, one shall see with the heart what is invisible to the eye. So next time you feel sad and you probably even cry for something, put on your discoverer suit and go on a journey of personal growth. In this journey don’t forget that…
“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”
5. Ambiguity is beautiful!
The author never clarifies whether the little prince has died. The little prince wishes to go back to find the special rose he so much misses. The snake has promised the little prince, that it is able to send him back where he came from.
The narrator cautions the little prince not to trust the snake as the snake is poisonous and can kill him. The little prince responded…
“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… you — only you — will have stars that can laugh!”
Ambiguity is evident in our lives and no matter how hard we try we will never eliminate it. Instead, what if we accept it and make the best memories with it!