So like many other things in life, this story isn't what it seems, and the depth of its meaning is beneath the surface. I love the whole book, which I read in French the first time, but here are a few of my favorite parts:
Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?". They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him.
If you tell grown-ups, "I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof...," they won't be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, "I saw a house worth a hundred thousand francs." Then they exclaim, "What a pretty house!"
"That is the hardest thing of all. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it's because you're truly a wise man."
"If I were to command a general to turn into a seagull, and if the general did not obey, that would not be the general's fault. It would be mine."
"For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it's not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble produce thorns that are good for nothing? It's not important, the war between the sheep and the flowers?... Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, even without realizing what he's doing - that isn't important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that's enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself, 'My flower's up there somewhere...' But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it's as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn't important?'"
But no one believed him on account of the way he was dressed. Grown-ups are like that.
"What are you doing here," he asked the drunkard...
"Drinking," replied the drunkard, with a gloomy expression.
"Why are you drinking?" the little prince asked.
"To forget," replied the drunkard.
"To forget what?" inquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him.
"To forget that I'm ashamed," confessed the drunkard, hanging his head.
"What are you ashamed of?" inquired the little prince, who wanted to help.
"Of drinking!" concluded the drunkard...
"Nothing's perfect," sighed the fox. "My life is monotonous. I hunt chickens; people hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all men are just alike. So I'm rather bored. But if you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. I'll know the sound of footsteps that will be different from all the rest. Other footsteps send me back underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like music. And then, look! You see the wheat fields over there? I don't eat bread. For me, wheat is no use whatever. Wheat fields say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the color of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you've tamed me! The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I'll love the sound of the wind in the wheat..."
You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
"You're lovely, but you're empty," he went on. "One couldn't die for you. Of course an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than you altogether, since she's the one I've watered. Since she's the one I put under glass. Since she's the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she's the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except for two or three for butterflies). Since's she the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she's my rose."
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
"People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for..."
"They don't find it," I answered.
"And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."
"Of course," I answered.
And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart."
Thursday, September 1, 2011
A Speech To Tell the World
I wrote this when I was 17. I guess there's a part of our soul that never changes...:
A Speech To Tell the World
If I had a speech to give the world tomorrow, it would go like this:
"World, open your eyes. Look beyond yourselves and find the Truth. I have found it but am too weak to own it. Never be weak. But if you are strong, do not be proud. Look beyond the surface of things, deep in to their meaning. For the secrets of life are found beneath every hardship and every smile. Do not cry for what has passed you by. Learn not to yearn for what can never by yours. Understand that even prayer is not magic. A man's body may bow without his soul. Do not be so arrogant as to believe that God will knock on your door, for He has no need for you or I. You must strive toward God, who will then, and only then, come towards you. You must strive and struggle for all that you want. Know that this life was not meant to be easy, for then what would the next be called. Understand that happiness is like a tree. God gave you the seeds, the sun, and the rain, but only you can make it grow. Do not wait your whole life for a dream. Make the most of every moment of every single day, for truly it may be your last. Finally, know that the life of this world is but play and amusement. So fear a day when no father shall prevail for his son, and no son for his father. Fear a day when all will remember, 'but how will that remembrance profit them then (89:23).'"