Believing in starts that can laugh in a world that demands a reality focus can be a challenge. You have to find your way to see beyond the limitations of the world. You have to develop the eyes of a child that can see a snake in an elephant’s belly instead of a drawing of a hat. You must learn to believe in the light no matter how dark the night might be.
The story of the Little Price taught me to believe in stars that can laugh and that belief has helped warm the holes that have been ripped into my heart.
The Little Prince first came into my life when I was just a teenager. It was no more than a book – one of many on a bookshelf in the den. My mother was a collector of books and they filled the shelves three rows deep. The day that I pulled that one, small book down from the shelf there was no way for me to know that the words hidden between the bindings would change my life forever.
Lessons to Learn from the Little Prince
- Look closer to see the real picture – society is moving so fast that it can be easy to miss the small details that can distinguish a drawing of a hat from a drawing of a boa constrictor.
- Beware of the Boabab – small things can grow into big things that crack and destroy the world or at the very least they will make life more difficult. Pull them up as soon as you see them and they will never be able to grow to a place where they are out of control.
- It is more important to judge by deeds than by words – words are temporary and often spoken without thought. Deeds take time and reveal the true heart of the people that do them.
- Think of someone besides your self – putting others first always makes things better.
- Perceptions are not reality – just because something appears to be a certain way doesn’t mean that it actually is. Dig deeper to find the truth.
- I am unique in all the world – because of whom and what I love and who and what loves me there is no one else like me.
- I am responsible for what I tame – building relationships takes time and after the building is complete I am responsible to that relationship. Love brings responsibility.
- It is not what can be seen that is important – it is the things that are invisible to the physical eye that carry the most value.
- Things (and people) are beautiful because of what they hide – it is the things that are hidden that make them special. A house with a secret, a desert with a hidden well or a star with a prince that laughs makes them more special than any other in the world.
- There is nothing sad about an abandoned shell – an abandoned shell is just a reminder that the inhabitant has moved on to something bigger and better.
The lessons of the Little Prince have cared me through some of the toughest seasons of my life. I lost several friends when I was in high school and their deaths hurt me in a profound manner. The words set down in The Little Prince gave me a hope that I would otherwise never have discovered. And those same words carried me through some of the toughest seasons of my life.
The other day I rediscovered the Little Prince when my husband and children brought home the movie version. I realized that I missed the Little Prince and I longed to hear his laughter once again. The book was still on the shelf. It took only a few hours to finish the small book and I spent the rest of the evening laughing with the stars.
“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night . . . You – only you – will have stars that can laugh.”
– The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery