They say you should never judge a book by its cover. But, every time I see the colorful and whimsical cover of “The Little Prince”, I always say it’s just a children’s book. Naive and unsophisticated, I didn’t think the book would ever appease my insatiable thirst for wisdom and knowledge.
How on earth can a child-friendly story help me unlock the infinite mysteries of the universe? Why do some find it a life-changing and inspiring book like the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho?
I was, like most adults, analytical, playing on the safe side and thinking if a children’s book can teach me a handful of valuable lessons.
And, truthfully, I thought the plot wasn’t catchy, when an unsophisticated 9-year old version of me first heard of it.
Somehow, I felt a strange urge to buy a copy of the The Little Prince book, as I was browsing an online bookstore.
“There must be a reason why it sold millions of copies worldwide”, I said to myself.
Eventually, I bought a digital copy of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
And, when I finished reading the book, I was in awe.
While the book seems perfect for kids, it has tons of inspiring words of wisdom for adults. Depending on how you interpret the Little Prince story, it actually is a cheat code for anyone who struggles in the grown-up world.
What’s more, the Little Prince echoes some of the lessons I’ve learned in my life.
Personally, I think Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote this book for adults, with his poignant observations about human nature and life.
The Little Prince story is, in my book, a goldmine for grownups.
Whether you’re going to read the book or watch the Little Prince 2015 movie, here are some timeless lessons you’ll learn from this captivating tale.
Value life’s simple pleasures like the Little Prince did
When we were kids, life was simple and full of joy. We were innocent and happy just chasing butterflies, playing with tree branches and homemade kites.
We didn’t think about numbers, riches or bank accounts.
And, we didn’t give a damn what people think.
So, what happened to that innocent child who can have a blast without the credit cards and loads of cash?
What happened to the little starry-eyed, creative kid who can create toys and stories with leaves, a hill of sand and even trash?
Why can’t we now see and value the simple things in life? Why do we have to spend a fortune to find our bliss?
Perhaps, we are trapped in a sad reality.
Maybe, we are trapped in the world of consumerism where people can only be happy making endless extravagant purchases.
We yearn for the latest iPhones.
We ached for the most sophisticated gadgets.
And, we even spend hundreds of dollars on branded underwear.
But, life, like the Little Prince suggests, brims with joys that won’t cost us a dime.
From stunning sunsets to the fragrant roses, the world has no shortage of simple yet wondrous pleasures.
So, try to be like the Little Prince. Who knows? A healthy dose of child-like optimism might just what you need.
The human body is just a shell
No one lives forever.
Even with man’s groundbreaking technological discoveries, no one is exempted from our common eventuality: death.
No matter how strong and healthy we are, we will all ultimately turn into ashes.
And, the only way to achieve eternal life and youth is to leave a legacy behind.
So, create tons of pleasant memories and make a positive impact in the lives of several people.
Your legacy will forever live on in the hearts and minds of the people whose lives you have touched.
That’s how to achieve eternal life in this reality.
And, that’s why the Little Prince lives forever in the heart of the aviator.
As the story was about to end, the Little Prince told his friend that his body is nothing, but a shell.
And, even when the Little Prince leaves the shell, his friend will always remember him whenever he looks at the twinkling stars.
Don’t take life so seriously
As I was reading the Little Prince, memories of my college professor suddenly flashed into my mind.
I remembered his words of advice, as I was about to exit college and enter the workforce.
And, I remembered what he said to me about a talent of mine that could lead to my downfall.
He always said that I was one of his sharper students. With my wits and sense of humor, he believes I can charm my way to the top of any corporate ladder.
But, he also believes that my nonchalant and jester-like attitude is my weakness.
I never take life so seriously.
Unlike the businessman in the Little Prince story, I’m not obsessed with earthly riches.
I never wanted to be like the story’s businessman who was so serious that it made him live a lonely and monotonous life.
I don’t want to follow in the footsteps of the businessman who was so obsessed with his wealth that he doesn’t have time to admire the stars that he owns.
Here’s the thing. Life is short.
After your short and sweet childhood, you’ll have to study and enter the workforce to make a living.
For decades, you’ll be hustling and working non-stop to make your way to the top.
Then, you die. And, your children and the next generation will also follow this blueprint that society has laid down for us.
Such a fucking vicious and monotonous cycle! That’s why you should not take life too seriously. Try to sprinkle a dash of fun as you trek this journey we call life.
Trust the unusual characters like the Little Prince
Foxes are normally depicted as villains or tricksters. But, the fox in the Little Prince just wanted to be tamed or a friend.
To my surprise, it was the fox who taught the prince timeless lessons in life.
And, the Little Prince book is in, a way, the fox in my story.
I didn’t trust the book because I judged it by its cover and childlike character.
But, as it turns, the book has so many meanings and lessons that are relevant to my adult life.
Care for what you have
“It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important.”
Even though he was in a garden full of gorgeous roses, the Little Prince still can’t escape the thoughts of his own flower. For the prince, the rose was special because he has “tamed” it, and spent a great deal of time nurturing it.
Whether you it’s a loved one or your dreams, never let anyone diminish the importance of your “rose”. It means a lot to you since you’ve invested energy and time in it.
There might be a million roses out there, but nothing beats the one in your own world.
Sometimes, you need to set free the people you love
Although the stranded and lonely pilot has learned to love the prince, he knows that keeping his friend on earth would hurt him.
And, in life, you sometimes have to set free those who you love because keeping them is trapping them.
Letting them go might the purest show of love.
Trust The Little Prince within you
The Little Prince was, to me, real and based on a real-life event.
Like the narrator in the novella, the Little Prince author, Antoine de Saint-Expupery was an aviator who also crashed in the desert.
And, I’m a hundred percent sure he met the Little Prince in the desert.
Although the intense desert heat and rapid dehydration can cause hallucinations, The Little Prince was not a figment of his imagination.
And, he is as real as any voice inside your head.
Guess what? We all have our version of “The Little Prince” inside our head.
I have dozens of them, each with a unique personality.
And, for the most part, they come out when I’m alone, deeply contemplating. Sometimes, I can also hear them screaming or whispering when I’m in a sticky situation.
In my fruitless pursuit of adventure, my long-time friend, Big E, urged me to do a little exploration.
Sofia, my version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, has on several occasions spiced up my exploration hikes and nature trips.
And, how can I forget the Enigmatic and Fascinating Stranger on the bus, who taught me some valuable life lessons?
They are all real.
And, I get all my best and most creative ideas from these voices.
The Little Prince inside Antoine de Saint-Expupery kept him alive in the brutal desert.
The voice reminded him of the beauty and wonders of the world, amid the endless barrage of wars and depressing events.
The Little Prince also reminded him of some of the people in his life.
The petulant and vain rose in the prince’s planet is his wife who was his bliss and the source of his angst.
The king, narcissistic man, drunkard, businessman, lamplighter and elderly geographer are some of the people that he met along his journey.
As for the fox, he or she may be a special friend who taught him timeless life lessons.
And of course, his encounter with this small voice inside his head sparked his creativity, and gave him the inspiration to write the award-winning and best-selling novella.
There are so many other timeless lessons that you’ll learn from reading The Little Prince. It has hidden meanings and metaphors that may open your eyes to today’s reality.
As I’ve said, it’s a gold mine for people who struggle in the grown-up world.