The Little Prince begins by exposing the rigid inability of grown-ups to perceive (the) important things in life. Things we were open to, and perhaps explored with the innocence and open-mindedness of childhood.
It goes on to touch on themes of loneliness, friendship, love and loss, but so much more, and with so much to explore.
While ‘adulting’ we can sometimes present characteristics that are insular and parochial; losing sight of the important things in life.
The little prince tells of the planets he had traveled to before coming to Earth. Each planet ‘was inhabited by a single, irrational, narrow-minded adult’ (Wikipedia) that in the context of the story is critical (and, oh, so insightful) of the narrow-mindedness of grown-ups.
On the six planets visited by the little prince he encounters the following parochial adults:
- a king with no subjects
- a narcissist who seeks praise and admiration
- a drunkard who drinks to forget his shame in drinking
- a businessman who sees none of the beauty in the stars he desires only to ‘own’ and account for
- a lamplighter who blindly follows orders, wasting his life in the process
- a geographer who has never been anywhere, nor seen any of the things he records
Join me over the next few weeks as I explore and consider this adulting thing; using The Little Prince as my guide. There is just so much to dissect and consider in this book.
Until next week …
“Then you shall pass judgement on yourself,” the king answered. “That is the hardest thing of all. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it’s because you are truly a wise man.” – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
I won’t be so vain as to suggest I will become a wise man through this exercise, but I suspect I will grow some and better hold agency of my thoughts, actions and life.
Here are some interesting articles on The Little Prince to whet your appetite:
- 7 Timeless Life Lessons from The Little Prince (Penguin)
- 11 Ways The Little Prince Prepped Us for Adulthood (Bustle)
- What The Little Prince Taught Me About Life and Love (Owlcation)
- The Hidden Meaning of Life According to The Little Prince (Crisis Magazine. A nonsecular view)