If we could have all our wishes granted, the first question would be not what wishes we’d make but WHY we’d have those wishes. All possible wishes we might have exist because of injustices, pains, heartaches and losses we’ve undergone. If we‘d never confronted any “dragons” in our lives, we’d have no wishes–no reflection, no wonder of and no strife for a better life–in the first place. What would Life be then, once everything were perfect? Would it still
be intriguing? Would we feel motivated at all?
Le Petit Prince, or The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry offers some if not the
wisest of all Life’s principles. The tale’s hero, Le Petit Prince, doesn’t actually slay any dragons. But what he does so heroically is embody the curiosity of all children, as he roams the globe in wonder, endlessly posing questions and insatiably delving into the mysteries of Life’s enigmas. He doesn’t try
to impress or win hearts. No, his genius and depth and mastery are instead born of a passive sort of openness. He teaches us that we don’t have to slay the dragon to be a real hero. We can be heroes and heroines in the most royally dignified, decent, authentic and curiously wide-eyed way.
This incredibly insightful narrative could be a children’s Bible if you will. But if children are already naturally curious wondrous beings that see magic in everything, then perhaps it might better serve us unreasonably-methodically-and-overly-logically-minded adults. We might not realize it, but this unassumingly “modest” children’s tale holds so much of the knowledge we need to understand Life.
As children, we once trembled over the notion of witches under the bed and marveled at the idea of tooth fairies. We’d gaze at the sun and the moon and the stars. We’d try to catch butterflies and chase rainbows. Surprise was our main emotion. Wonder was our approach to everything.
A child’s vision of the world—of Life—is magical.
If we can answer questions with questions, if we can keep our bewildered inner child alive, then we can turn our existence into an enchantment.
Here to enchant you are some of the key wisdoms we can use to become more princely and princessly creatures on this planet:
(Excerpt from penguin.co.uk
1. Don’t be too fond of numbers
‘Grown-ups are very fond of numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask you the kind of questions that should be asked, such as: “What kind of voice does he have?” “What are his favorite games?” “Does he collect butterflies?” Instead they ask: “How old is he? How much money does his father earn?” They really do imagine this is the best way to discover what sort of person he is!’
2. Look after the planet
‘“It’s just a question of self-discipline,” the little prince explained later. “First thing in the morning you look after yourself, you brush your teeth and wash your face, don’t you? Well, the second thing you must do is to look after the planet.”’
3. Don’t judge others by their words, but by what they do
‘“[My rose] filled me with her fragrance, she had brought joy to my life. I should never leave her. I should have recognised what a sensitive sweet soul there was under all her rather silly games.’”
4. Relationships make life worth living
‘“What exactly does ‘tamed’ mean?”
“Well, it’s something too often forgotten,” said the fox. “I suppose it means: to make some kind of relationship.”
“Yes,” said the fox. “I’ll explain. To me, you are just a little boy like any other, like a hundred thousand other little boys. I have no need of you and you have no need of me. To you I am a fox like any other, like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, you and I, we will have created a relationship, and so we will need one another. You will be unique in the world for me… If you were to tame me, my whole life would be so much more fun. I would come to know the sound of your footsteps, and it would be different from all the others. At the sound of any other footstep I would be down in my hole in the earth as quick as you like. But your footsteps would be like music to my ears, and I would come running up out of my hole, quick as you like.”
5. The important things in life you cannot see with your eyes, only with your heart
‘Once the little prince fell asleep, I picked him up in my arms and set off on my way again. I was so moved as I walked. It seemed to me that I was carrying in my arms the most delicate of treasures, that there could be nothing more fragile on the whole Earth. In the light of the moon I looked down at this pale forehead, those closed eyes, those locks of his that trembled in the wind: “What I am seeing,” I thought, “is no more than the shell. What is truly important I cannot see.”
6. It is the time you give to something that makes it precious
‘I lifted the bucket to his lips. He drank, his eyes closed. Then I drank. It was like a feast of water. This was not ordinary food of course, but it might just as well have been. The sweetness of this water was born from the long walk under the stars, from the song of the pulley, and for the effort of pulling up that bucket. It made me feel good, made me happy, as a present does.’
7. And finally, remember to look up at the stars
‘“Stars mean different things to different people. For travelers, stars tell them where they are, where they are going. For others, they are just little lights in the sky. For scholars, they are the world of the unknown, yet to be discovered and understood. For my businessman, they are gold. But all stars stay silent. And you? No one else in the world will see the stars as you do… For you, and only for you, the stars will always be laughing.”’