It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Expéry
Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.
The Little Prince – originally in French, Le Petit Prince – is the story of a pilot stranded in the Sahara desert fixing his aeroplane who then meets a little boy who happens to be visiting Earth from another planet, the two become friends. The narrator, who calls the child the little prince finds out that the boy comes from a very small planet.
Over the course of the next few days, the little prince tells the narrator about his life. On his planet, the prince prevents bad seeds from growing so they don’t take over. One day a rose grows on his planet, a rose the little prince loves with all his heart. But her vanity and demands become too much for him and he decides to leave.
The prince then travels to a series of other planets where he meets different kinds of grown-ups. He insists that they make the world more complicated than it actually should be. Finally, the boy makes his way to earth and he is impressed by the size of it, since his planet is so tiny. Here he learns some valuable lessons about love and friendship and is even more convinced of the oddity of adult behaviour. Healed and made wise, the prince decides it is time to go back home.
At first glance this book may look like a children’s book. However this book is definitely also for adults since, more than children, they are the ones who need to be reminded of what counts and what doesn’t count in life. The book portrays grown-ups as hopelessly narrow-minded and the children as wise because of their open-mindedness and willingness to explore the world around them and within themselves.
I believe this book should be read many times during our lifetime because it would do us all so much good to be reminded of what is essential in life as we grow up.