Can you think of a book that influenced your life or that changed you? What was it about this book that made a difference? How long ago did you read it?
Recently some friends from New Orleans visited and like I did when my nieces and nephews were here the week before, I brought to the table a box of questions to read during dinner. The question topics varied greatly, from simple to profound. We passed the box around, letting each person choose one from the box and then reading the question aloud. Then each person shared his/her answer.
The question above is one of the questions that came up. Despite loving books and loving to read I could not come up with an answer. Can you?
My friend Juan named The Little Prince–a book I read long ago when I was in college. At the time I loved it so much I went out to the bookstore and bought a copy, which I was quick to retrieve after everyone had answered, paging through the book and trying to remember why it affected me enough to want to own it.
Have you read this book? Though written as a children’s book, I think many adults would agree when I say it is more enjoyed by grownups. Certainly the book has a lot of hidden lessons and themes that a child cannot understand.
One theme I remembered as I paged through the book was not judging something simply by how it looks. That to truly know something, and especially, someone, one has to look beneath the surface rather than just notice the obvious outward traits. The fox in the story calls this “taming” and by it he means creating ties with other individuals–allowing ourselves to be vulnerable as we get to know others and learn to trust and give openly.
And so, this week’s quote, from the author of The Little Prince: Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
“Here is my secret: It is very simple; It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
What do you think of this? Did you read this book? What was your favorite theme from the story?
If you have never read this book, I highly suggest it! You might need to read it a few times to really grasp all of the hidden lessons.
Here are some other posts about this subject: why I try not to say“Hi, how are you?” some thoughts on having an “AHA moment” with a stranger, on the opinions of others, on the consequences of not knowing another, and lastly, on the value of old friends.
Happy day! And happy reading.