Lessons Learned from the Little Prince

A large portion of my education was given in French. I was fortunate enough to attend a school that offered French immersion from grades five to eight, so many areas of instruction were given in French rather than English such as history, science and geography.

It also meant that I was more advanced once I left that school and went to high school that only had basic French classes. But thanks to being labelled a bit of a smarty pants, I was able to skip a few classes and even did a bit of extra work to avoid boredom (yes, I realize that makes me look like a nerd).

One project was to read Le Petit Prince (the Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a beautiful story that looks at life, relationships and nature through the travels of a young prince.

So many passages in the story have touched me, but one in particular lives with me:

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple:
On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur.
L’essential est invisible pour les yeux.

Here is my secret. It is very simple:
one sees well only with the heart.
The essential is invisible to the eyes.

We get so caught up in visuals and appearances. What is tangible that we can see and touch. We judge based on what we see on the surface, from regular objects to situations to people.

But we forget the layers underneath. The good that everyone can possess. The beauty underneath what we may perceive as ugly or unattractive. Something amazing that we can experience in the worst of situations.

If we just took an extra second or two to lead with our hearts instead of our eyes, what a wonderful world it could be!

So in the worst of situations, in the hardest of times, think back to childhood stories, close your eyes and follow your heart. There’s a reason they teach us these things when we’re young, it’s just unfortunate that we forget.

Do you carry a pearl of wisdom from a childhood story with you?
What is it and why?




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Cowgirl Warrior said...

I was I a French bilingual program from Grade 1-12. I also took math, sciences and social studied in French. I loved this book. Thank you for reminding me. I also really like Dr Seuss' The Places You'll Go

Christy said...

Since I've had kids, reading children's books is part of my daily routine, and many times I read something, stop and think wow - what a great saying/quote/reminder.

Great post - and I LOVED this book :)

Laura said...

I loved this book. I was in french immersion but have lost so much of it...I can't even follow the Habs game on the french channel.

PunkRockMom said...

I love this post so much. Children's books are some of my favorite reading; so much knowledge in there, common sense kind of stuff. Love them. <3

cinemarie said...

Le Petit Prince m'a été raconté étant petite à moi aussi - J'ai une tante qui aimait bien citer ce passage du livre dont tu parles justement. Une très belle histoire avec une belle morale :)
Thanks for this post - we all need to be reminded of things like that from time to time :)

marie said...

@CM - I love that you commented in French. xo

Amy said...

I remember reading this book in grade 7.... and doing my best not to actually read it.

I can't believe I'm about to admit this, but I think I can honestly say that I have never read a complete book in French. I was in immersion from grade 5-OAC, and I even minored in French at University. Slacker much?

I have a copy of that book here somewhere, maybe I should pick it up.... and read the entire thing?

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