Le Petit Prince – The book that made me what I am

The Little Prince is known to be a book for children written for grown-ups. It is the book of my life.

I can never get tired of the story. Despite the number of times I have read it, it is always a fascinating story, with multiple layers that morph as you grow up.

If you do not know the story, stop immediately, run to your nearest library and get the book.

STOP READING, I SAID!

You are missing a wonderful, unpretentious tale that never gets old. Besides, it has the most beautiful watercolour illustrations made by the writer\narrator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry/The Little Prince

In a nutshell, this is a story of an aviator that crashes his aeroplane in the Sahara Desert and meets a little boy who asks him to draw a sheep. To his surprise and bewilderment, the aviator learns that the boy comes from asteroid B-612 and before reaching Earth, he visited other planets and met some very odd people.

A king of a planet who claims to rule the entire universe, the vain man, alone on another planet who seeks attention and believes he is the most beautiful and richest man, a drunk who drinks to forget that he is ashamed of drinking, a lamplighter very diligent in his work turning lamps on and off even when he knows that his duties are pointless. Everyone he meets before arriving to earth is isolated and consumed by their own lives, something that The Little Prince doesn’t understand. They are, in fact, caricatures of adults that we easily identify.

Why this book review in a blog about Science and Nature?

The Little Prince is a pure and innocent soul that sets to explore the world to feed his curiosity and fight his loneliness, leaving behind three volcanoes and a rose for which he worries a lot. On earth he encounters a fox that teaches him the importance of making bonds, rituals in friendship and also a secret:

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes… It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important… People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said, “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose…”

The book taught me the importance of not taking yourself very seriously and of living your life with enthrallment for the ordinary.

At the start of the book, the narrator tells the story of a drawing he did at the age of six, of a snake that had eaten an elephant. The adults he showed the picture to thought is was a hat. Because it was “tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”, he had to draw a transparent snake with the elephant inside so that they would understand.

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry/The Little Prince

As an adult, he would use these drawings to test peoples’ imagination and creativity. If they failed, then he would never talk to that person about “boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars”. He would have himself down to their level, talking “about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties. And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man”.

I am always trying my best to see the elephant inside the snake and this blog is my journey towards it.

Through my passion for Science and the firm knowledge that we are just another species in the web of life, I accept my own nature and my place in the world.

How about you? Do you see the hat or the snake?

For more information: http://www.lepetitprince.com/

Cheers, Gisela

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Skip mindfulness, embrace curiosity.

Everyone says that curiosity killed the cat. That a calm and present mind can do miracles.

But what do they know?

Since a young age, I’ve been very passionate about the wonders of Mother Nature’s. This passion continued as I grew up devouring books about the human body, animals, geography.

The feeling that never allows me to stay still has accompanied me since then. Of course, growing up we lose that childlike sense of wonder: we get overwhelmed by the world itself, indoctrinated by school and society and become more insensitive to our surroundings. Yet, peacefulness is not for me!

Don’t ask me to meditate. I prefer to ask, thank you.

Silly questions. Stupid questions. Questions!!!

I am not afraid. I know I will never understand everything. And that’s ok.

Everyone says that curiosity killed the cat… but satisfaction brought it back, right?

Cheers, Gisela