Lessons for the Little Prince from "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Royal Baby, also known around my house as the "Little Prince" (okay, not really) has arrived. I'm sure William and Kate will be fantastic parents, but I think books can be one of the greatest sources of advice and support. Instead of picking up What To Expect The First Year, maybe Will & Kate will stop by my blog instead? A girl can dream. (Oh, and if you are looking, Will & Kate - send Harry my way). 

Lessons The Little Prince Can Learn From "The Little Prince"

"Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people."
Grown-ups can be a giant pain. They will ask you a million questions about things that don't matter. They care too much about money. They don't care that your new friend collects trucks, they want to know how much his father makes and what he does. Take it in stride. You know what really matters. Hold onto that.

"Before they grow so big, baobobs start out by being little."
All things in life start out small. The largest tree was once a tiny acorn, and all that jazz. You're a tiny baby (a royal baby, but a baby nonetheless) that will grow up to become a king. The same goes for all children. Stay humble - every person has to start somewhere, and we all start very, very small…no matter how big we eventually become.

"Flowers are weak creatures. They are naive. They reassure themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons."
People can feel insecure sometimes, and protect themselves by putting up walls, or throwing barbs at you. Remember that it just means that they feel weak, and afraid - always offer them kindness and understanding.

"I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman. He has never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved any one. He has never done anything in his life but add up figures. And all day he says over and over, just like you: 'I am busy with matters of consequence!' And that makes him swell up with pride. But he is not a man--he is a mushroom!"
There will always be work to do. You will always feel weighed down by responsibilities and duties. But you cannot - and must not - forget to live. Remember to look at the stars...to fall in love with people, places, and moments...and know that there is so much more to life than can be measured by numbers.

"If someone loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, 'Somewhere, my flower is there . . .'"
Of all the feelings in the world, hope is the most important. Hope for love, hope for friendship, and hope for hope. Again, love can give you strength during those moments where you feel like all is lost. It isn't.

"It is such a secret place, the land of tears."
Whenever you feel sad, you will feel like you're alone, like you can't share your feelings with anyone. When others feel sad, you won't know what to say or do. Sadness can be a deep, dark place - but there is always a way out of the land of tears. Things get better.

"I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words."
People will lie to you, tell you one thing and do another. Don't let flattery or mistruths disguise their true intentions. Their actions will always tell you what they truly think about you. If they tell you sweet, perfumed words, but treat you badly - then judge them based on their not-so-wonderful actions. If they don't say much, and you wonder if they truly love you - think about all the tiny things they do for you. Actions above all.

"Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies."
Sometimes you have to deal with some bad experiences to understand and be grateful for the great ones. Every experience you undergo will teach you something important about yourself and the world.

"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."
Be introspective. Do not limit your curiosity to the world around you - look within yourself as well. You can't learn from your mistakes if you never recognize them, and how you contributed to them. Always be honest with yourself. Deception of others begins with self-deception.

"Conceited people never hear anything but praise."
Sometimes, you will meet a person who loves themselves more than anything or anyone else in the world. You can tell them whatever you want, but they will only hear what they want to hear - compliments. This people are foolish and useless. You're better off without them.

"Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more."
People will tell you that money cannot buy the important things in life, and they're actually right. Be grateful for the people you love, and appreciate the things they do for you. Treat your friends right. In a world where nobody has roots, friendships keep you grounded and happy.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
Follow your heart and intuition. You may be tempted to overthink things, but if you do, you will miss out on all the essential experiences of life. 

"No one is ever satisfied where he is," said the switchman.
And that's all right. If you're unhappy, take steps to change it. At the same time, however, you have to remember that you cannot always grasp happiness fully in your hands. Again, take the time to appreciate what you have. You might realize that happiness had alighted upon you when you weren't looking.

"What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well . . ."
Last, but not least - always look for the beauty in unexpected places. It's that beauty that will help you carry on. Look below the surface for the things that truly matter. That, my Little Prince, is how you will find happiness.

All quotes and illustrations are from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery.