There are few books we remember, and The Little Prince is one of those. I remember it for its simplicity..for its innocence, and for the lifelong wisdom it imparts. It talks about 'little' things that matter much, things we fail to imbibe/observe, and that makes all the difference.
The other day, when I was remembering this book, someone told me they hadn't heard of it. And someone said, they haven't read it..and this has been the case for a long long time.
For all those who missed out on a beautiful journey, here's some of my favorite excerpts from the book:
All grown-ups were children first. (But few remember it).
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.
That's the way they are. You must not hold it against them. Children should be very understanding of grown-ups.
... I have had, in the course of my life, lots of encounters and lots of serious people. I have spent lots of time with grown-ups. I have seen them at close range... which haven't much improved my opinion of them.
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.
"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?'"
"I'd like to see a sunset... Do me a favor your majesty... Command the sun to set."
"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."
"Language is the source of misunderstandings."
"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."
"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that it hides a well somewhere..."
And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart."
You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.
Its true, how sometimes, our hearts see what the eyes don't. And how sometimes it is difficult to describe the word 'special', and yet, not be tamed by thoughts alone.
I hope that you will pick a copy...and if not...well then, you grew up too fast! :P