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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

French author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry reexamined some of his personal tragedies through a different lens in his 1943 novella "The Little Prince," excerpted here. Saint-Exupéry’s real-life plane crash in the Libyan desert and the childhood death of his beloved younger brother are both weaved into this book that focuses on the contradiction between the no-nonsense busyness of adulthood and the slow, adoring wonder of childhood. This quote is spoken by a fox who visits the titular character, a young prince from a faraway star. The fox’s quote is a “secret” of earthlings that he bestows upon the extraterrestrial prince, reinforcing the boy’s idea that love, joy, and exploration usurp the concerns of more “serious” grown-up endeavors. Saint-Exupéry’s words teach us that fulfillment comes from that which is unseen and only felt, gently urging us to nurture the heart of our inner child. 

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