When a grown-up reads The Little Prince

11749875_10153346225557906_1700189197_oMy ex-room mate once told me: As you grow old, reading The Little Prince becomes more profound. So I pick up my 10-year old copy of The Little Prince and read all over again. When you gain more life experiences, you can find yourself in one of The Little Prince’s characters and in the book’s philosophies. I appreciate the book now, in my mid twenties. I guess when you’re a little older, you strangely get insights from the innocence of a child which The Little Prince symbolizes. Here are some of the things that The Little Prince remind me of:

We love numbers but numbers are just numbers

Our world is governed by numbers. For instance, we measure the country’s progress by GNP or GDP but it does not reflect the quality of life of most people. Money, school grades, salary, check, number of likes in Facebook are just numbers. Numbers cannot tell how happy you are.

We have to dig deeper to know its value

One of the most popular quote: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” “ And another quote from the books says: “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well” It’s easy to measure someone’s worth based on face value.  Often we pattern our lives with what society expects, what advertising sells.  Always choose substance over form. What holds value to you does not necessarily hold value to to most people.

Facts are just “good-to-know”. Life is not about facts but a collection of experiences.

I always thought that by reading more books, by studying, by listening to experts and scholars is enough to make me more knowledgeable. But experience is always irreplaceable. Thanks to technology, knowledge is accessible. It’s good to know the world through web pages but it’s just a small portion of our reality.

The obsession of power, status and accumulation are all meaningless. 

I have a similar blog post related to this. The Little Prince  cannot understand the obsession of  the king to rule, the fascination of the businessman to buy more stars. We do resemble some of the characters  he met in different planets. We may be the geographer who does not travel the places he records, and the lamplighter who is too useful but has no time to rest.

We choose the people we want to be part of our lives

We keep looking for the best set of people to be our friends. They are not unique people just like the rose of The Little Prince. He has a sad realization that his rose in his planet is just like the other roses on earth.  But when we “establish ties”, the way The Little Prince tamed the fox, we make them special. This reminds me of random question I shared with my friend: Do you think you marry the best guy in your life or the right person?

“There is no shop where you can buy friendship”

Period.   the littlpr Relationships are important

Relationships add zeal and meaning in our lives as explained by the fox to The Little Prince.

“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”

Photo Source: http://www.lepetitprince.com/
Photo Source: http://www.lepetitprince.com/

We love the difficult people

The rose of The Little Prince has an attitude problem. She always complains and she is pretty demanding. Not to mention, she is fragile and vulnerable but The Little Prince has been devoted to her.

People have different values and priorities

We choose what gives meaning to our lives. Yes, we can choose what drives us everyday to work, what makes our lives worth living for, what inspires us, what motives us, what makes us happy

“All men have stars,” [the prince said.] “but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You—you alone—will have the stars as no one else has them—” “What are you trying to say?” “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!” (26.18-20)

Looking forward to watch The Little Prince movie

A Pig’s Life

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life. It seems like everything I do has no meaning.”

I told my brother about my quarter life crisis. At this stage of my life, I almost tried everything and made a point to check everything in my bucket list but still, I feel something is missing and I can’t pinpoint what it is.

My brother replied: “When I was your age, I never thought of that. But you’re lucky that you are thinking your purpose in life. Some people will never think about that. Why don’t you take a break, travel, contemplate, find yourself?”

This advice sounded useful but my brother was laughing all the time as if I was a big joke. I find this conversation predestined because after a few weeks I-need-to-find-myself theme became a trending topic. ( Thanks to Billy Crawford and Nikki Gil’s breakup)

I thought of my obsession in travelling alone in India where I can be a vegetarian for a month, learn yoga, and have a journal with me. Perhaps, there I can find myself. But India is beyond my reach. So i tried to find inspiration within my environment. Then, I thought of the pig my aunt was taking care of. This leads me to a conversation I had with a friend…

Me: Do you eat the fish you have taken care of?
Friend:  that’s the plan
Me:  You killed the fish you once cared for
Friend:  It’s the circle of life
Me:  Food chain haha
Friend: One day I’ll die and help grass grow.. that grass will feed a cricket and a fish will eat the cricket it all works out haha
Me:  But the lives of the fish and the pigs will be meaningful only when they die
Friend:  That’s a good point! hopefully my life is a little more meaningful
Me:  Yah, it has more meaning than feeding the crickets and feeding the fish
Friend:  thank goodness! what are you doing this afternoon?
Me:   Waiting for the rain to stop, then jog and maybe read … and find meaning in my life lol
Friend:  Find meaning in your life? what do you mean by that? Lol
Me:  How do i find meaning in my life? i just look at the grass and wait for the crickets to feast on them

When I thought about my aunt’s pig, I realize how awful a pig’s life is. He is a lifetime prisoner and is sentenced to death. He moves in a small corner of his pig pen and then he sleeps again. The life of the pig is sacrificial. He is a hero to a family who’s waiting for a large feast. He is born to die. You can only measure his worth when he dies.

This is the pig I'm talking about
This is the pig I’m talking about

Well, what am I talking about? I hope my life is more than a pig’s life.

These are my silly random thoughts…

How about you?How do you find your purpose in life? 🙂