The Little Prince
By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Dear friends, have you read this book? I just finished it for the first time and I find it fascinatingly chock full of mini life lessons. Although I’m not altogether sure I understand everything the author is trying to relay to us as grown-ups, there were passages which I found to be worthy of further thought. I would love to hear your thoughts on the book if you have read it so that I can learn from your experience.
For example, on relationships:
“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
“So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–
“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”
“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . .”
“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.
“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.
“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.
“Then it has done you no good at all!”
“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”
“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
“One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed.”
“I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.”
As in yesterday’s post about love, I guess I am running on a theme these past few days. There are those who swear off closeness with others when they’ve been hurt. They are reminded all too often that even though there is a precious gift in connecting with someone, taming, as in this story, there is weeping when ‘one lets himself be tamed’ as well. We allow our souls to connect for a time and when/if they become dislodged and disconnected, we weep for the hurt. It happens often in many different types of relationships, as you may understand from personal experience. It needn’t be a love relationship such as a marriage or dating, although that is hard when it ends. There can be other types of separations, disconnections, that can be just as heartbreaking. Friendships and family relationships can grow apart or even break altogether, having served the life duration of the relationship and still, there is that bit of crying when the ties are severed. It’s a part of relationships sometimes, that they have a time limit, a life cycle so to speak. We grow together, tame each other by feeling that special closeness and then, through experiences, we separate and move on. Sometimes neither person wants to do this, but perhaps circumstances are not in our favor.
I welcome the weeping at the end, for it means that the relationship was special, unique and one that I shan’t forget. Like the fox who is reminded of The Little Prince when he sees the golden wheat, I know in my heart, that it has done me good.
How about you?