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January 02, 2005

The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

A beautiful and thought-provoking little book. Saint-Exupery is a master at presenting complex concepts in an enjoyable and entertaining way. The little prince appears to a pilot who crash-landed on an island. The little prince travels around the universe and meets all of the typical types of human personalities which all seem so silly. It's only the fox that actually teaches him somemthing meaningful. I love his interaction with the fox. Oh how simple it all is. The point of all life is to "tame" each other, to commit to love, to risk the inevitable pain that will be the result of loving and then losing that love.

So, "Has the sheep eaten the flower or not?"
I guess it all depends on how we look at things. When we have a positive "the glass is half-full" attitude then all is right with the world and the stars are laughing. On the other hand when we think negatively, dwelling on mistakes of the past, then the stars will all be weeping.

A couple of my personal observations regarding the actual story:

First, I'd say that the prince didn't really need the muzzle at all but this was provided as a means of dealing with our human tendency to look back, to dwell in the past and feel guilty. If the pilot had not been dwelling on the past he would not have realized that the muzzle didn't have a strap and would never have felt sorry. It's the natural tendency of the ego to rehash and spoil a perfectly good memory by showing us what we did "wrong".

Second, the pilot admitted that his drawings weren't perfect, so his muzzle couldn't be expected to be perfect either.

Third, if you can believe that the rose was still alive after being alone for a whole year on that little planet then you can have no trouble believing that the sheep has not eaten the rose.

And finally, after six years has passed and the pilot starts thinking about the muzzle he says "something extraordinary happened" - not something terrible but extraordinary which is typically something remarkable in a positive way.

Posted by Priscilla at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)