I’ve read this book a few times. It’s one of those books that make more and more sense after every read. To a child it is full of absurd characters with bizarre ideas and obsessions. As an adult, I see myself reading between the lines and taking away many life lessons from the story of a wandering prince from a planet holding 3 volcanoes and a rose.
I really believe that we create our own experiences and tailor them to our own liking. Whether we are aware of it or not, we make life what it is and I think that Antoine de Saint Exupéry is conveying this message through his story.
The “quirky” characters in this story shed a lot of light about how we choose to live our lives. Be it the accountant counting the starts or the tippler drinking his way through his guilt of being a drunk, the way in which either of these characters choose to live their lives is of vital importance and meaning to them. The Little Prince is unable to see the logic behind the behaviour of any of the adults that he meets on his way to the planet Earth. These adults live in such a way that keeps their stress levels high and their whole existence revolves around one particular obsession. The way the Little Prince sees it, they are unable to appreciate what life has to offer them because they are so one sided in their judgment and have a stubborn refusal to change, that they miss out on so much and/or misjudge what is staring at them in the face. At the same time though, the Little Prince emphasizes so much on the importance of his rose that he himself cannot think of anything but his rose. His rose is his obsession, but the reasons behind his obsession are all selfless as opposed to the adults whose reasons are quite selfish. The Little Prince does see the beauty and simplicity of life while the adults around him are too wrapped up in their own selfish agendas.
Now, I could say that the Little Prince has got all his priorities wrong and that the obsession of his rose and its beauty is what is clouding his judgment on what life has to offer. It’s all a matter of perspective.
All the adults who the Little Prince met had obsessions but none of them were happy, the Little Prince was more than happy to tame his rose and make her his priority. So, he was content.
I quote again: “It is the time you have wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important.”
If you were to think about what really mattered in your own life what would it be and why? Do you think you are “wasting” your life on the things you spend most of your time on? Is it your choice to stop and smell the roses or not? Either way, own those choices.
It’s much easier said than done but I think if you keep asking yourself these questions as a reminder and answer them honestly, then it would be easier to focus on what really matters to you whatever that may be.