The Little Prince continues to capture the hearts of both children and adults since it was first published in 1943. Put to paper by pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry during his time in America, the story was inspired by his time in the French Air Force. On the surface his words may seem simple but when dug deeper, they make up a piece of art that’s meant to survive the test of time.
Here are our favourite lessons from this beautiful tale, as told through quotes.
Don’t stress too much on numbers
“Grown-ups are very fond of numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask you the kind of questions that should be asked, such as: “What kind of voice does he have?” “What are his favourite games?” “Does he collect butterflies?” Instead they ask: “How old is he? How much money does his father earn?” They really do imagine this is the best way to discover what sort of person he is!”
Relationships make life meaningful and worth living
“What exactly does ‘tamed’ mean?”
“Well, it’s something too often forgotten,” said the fox. “I suppose it means: to make some kind of relationship.”
“Yes,” said the fox. “I’ll explain. To me, you are just a just a little boy like any other, like a hundred thousand other little boys. I have no need of you and you have no need of me. To you I am a fox like any other, like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, you and I, we will have created a relationship, and so we will need one another. You will be unique in the world for me… If you were to tame me, my whole life would be so much more fun. I would come to know the sound of your footstep, and it would be different from all the others. At the sound of any other footstep I would be down in my hole in the earth as quick as you like. But your footstep would be like music to my ears, and I would come running up out of my hole, quick as you like.”
The wonderful things in life can only be seen by the heart and not the eyes
“Once the little prince fell asleep, I picked him up in my arms and set off on my way again. I was so moved as I walked. It seemed to me that I was carrying in my arms the most delicate of treasures, that there could be nothing more fragile on the whole Earth. In the light of the moon I looked down at this pale forehead, those closed eyes, those locks of his that trembled in the wind: “What I am seeing,” I thought, “is no more than the shell. What is truly important I cannot see.”
Don’t judge others by their words, but by their actions
“[My rose] filled me with her fragrance, she had brought joy to my life. I should never leave her. I should have recognised what a sensitive sweet soul there was under all her rather silly games.”
Always remember to look up at the stars
“Stars mean different things to different people. For travellers, stars tell them where they are, where they are going. For others, they are just little lights in the sky. For scholars, they are the world of the unknown, yet to be discovered and understood. For my businessman, they are gold. But all stars stay silent. And you? No one else in the world will see the stars as you do… For you, and only for you, the stars will always be laughing.”