Growing up, you may of read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As I was sitting in a cafe called Woolloomooloo in Taipei last year with my dear friend, she told me how she was reading the book. It brought back a lot of memories of the book, and as one of those classics that have been read time and time again, I was curious to watch the film which came out in 2015. There are rarely books and movies (with the exception of Harry Potter), where I felt like I loved both of them. The film magically intertwined The Little Prince with the story of a young girl. The most important message I felt was the power of imagination. The wonderful joy, love, happiness and excitement it brings. New adventures and a boundless mind. The water colour paintings, wise words and wonderful story is really a reminder for us that we were all once children. “All grown ups were children once… but only few of them remember it.” – Saint-Exupéry.
When you were younger, did you remember asking endless questions out of curiosity, going on adventures of make believe, having your first imaginary friend and laughing uncontrollably about nothing. Whatever it was, a part of growing up can often suppress many parts of our childhood self, that so often is a crucial part of us to carry within us for the rest of our lives. Human nature can only survive by reaching for what is within, rather than what is without. As we grow older, there are many parts of our surroundings we only look at from the surface. The book shows the little prince, being amazed at the drawing of an elephant inside a boa constrictor, where as the adults can only see a hat. How mysterious we are inside. The secrets we hold, the words waiting to be unlocked and the way we think. When we grow older, it can become a habit to judge on a person’s exterior, rather than realising the journey they have come. The stories that are untold and the wonderful true self that they may partially hide. The Little Prince reminds us not to lose the goodness that is in all of us.
This book is a lot deeper than one may find, but it is also the kind of book you read and do not forget. There are many themes that interwine, such as friendship, human nature, truth, innocence, reality, imagination and so forth. We are reminded to be like the little prince in many ways. To hold onto our true selves, to seek from within rather than without and be an honest person. Pulling down the brick walls that can often be built as we grow older. Lessening the judgment of those that walk around us in our daily lives. Remembering to see the beauty and simplicity in the world, and most of all, cherish and nurture special relationships for every individual is a magical treasure of secrets.
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” It could not be any truer. Everything that is truly beautiful, is always felt inside. I’d like to think that we can always encompass a child like imagination and see beyond the surface of our minds. Unfortunately we often assume, look and judge based on what is immediately seen. The Little Prince reminds us to have an open heart, open mind and to embrace our imagination, rather than let it go. If you get the chance, have a read of the book. If you were wondering what had happened to the elephant, he is still inside the boa constrictor.