It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to enjoy the wonderment of children’s literature. I suppose as we grow older and the world of far-off, fairy tale lands are tainted by reality, our need and believability in such fiction disappears.
As we continue to age, I think our power to dream, hope and imagine decreases. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why children’s literature is no longer applicable to adults – as we’re not always able to suspend our disbeliefs.
And while the book, The Little Prince, which was written by Antoine De Saint-Exupery in 1943, was first conceived as a children’s story, it has come to be loved by adults all over the world – and I’m one of them.
I was first introduced to The Little Prince after reading the following passage: “Years ago, a friend gave me a piece of calligraphy which I have always kept in my office. It’s a quotation from The Little Prince which reads, “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” Fred Rogers
Several years later, while sifting through the shelves of a local bookstore, I once again stumbled upon the The Little Prince title while looking for an unrelated text. I immediately remembered that quote as I clutched the tiny book in my hands.
And so without hesitation, I added it to my literary collection. I assumed at first it would be written in a style geared for a much younger audience, but halfway through the first page I was pleasantly surprised – entertained as an adult, while remembering the simplicity of just being a child.
Throughout the story, as we travel the galaxy with the little prince, the quote which first inspired me to read this book in the first place is echoed time and time again. We discover the great importance of looking beneath the surface to find the real truth; the real meaning; the real person that lives in all of us.
We come to understand that adults have a difficult time seeing with one’s heart instead of with one’s eyes – preoccupied with wealth, power and technology and all together missing the most important things in life such as unconditional love and companionship.
The more I read, the more I became aware that children truly know how to live as the little prince expressed numerous times. It seems only adults look past the small wonders this world has to offer – rushing from place to place in search of something bigger and better.
In short, superficiality leaves our lives with little meaning and it’s only when we realize, “What is essential is invisible to the eyes” that we begin to see clearly what’s ultimately important.
The young mind of a child, while impressionable, lives in a world of hope and wonder; dreams and imagination. They are influenced more by who a person truly is on the inside and less about what they represent on the outside.
Children often play pretend when they’re young – taking on the roles of adults all around them. Maybe someday, adults will realize there are benefits to sometimes thinking like a child.
Check out your local library or bookstore – it’s worth the read.