When my high school graduation came, I realized that the days were passing too fast, that I was getting older fast. The fact made me afraid. I didn’t like to grow old. Adults have too many responsibilities. They do so many things at a time. Worst is they worry a lot. I was afraid of those things. (Worrying too much and taking too many responsibilities, I mean.) However, I admitted that time is the only constant in this world; so eventually I surrendered myself to the fact that growing old is inevitable.As a remedy to this predicament of mine, I thought of having a journal on which I could scribble my memories as a younger person. However, I wasn’t able to do it because my drive to write was always overwhelmed by my “laziness”. I thought it was a hassle.
But before I turned 18 – thank God – I was able to start writing journal. Although, I did it to improve my writing skills and without remembering that years ago I wanted to do it because I wanted to keep my childhood or more appropriately my “adolescent” (but I prefer to use the first since for me I am still a child) in the pages of my notebook. It was this summer, when I happened to read my entries, that I remembered my original purpose for keeping a journal. I had fun reading the memories of my younger self, though I hadn’t changed that much since I started writing. Reminiscing the memories in the pages of my journal made me regretful of not being able to write journal earlier. Yet, I still felt glad that I still did, though late, or otherwise the younger I might be forgotten by myself in the future.
I think when Antoine de Saint Exupery wrote the “The Little Prince” his motive was to remember his childhood, which is almost similar with my motive in keeping a journal. The pilot in the story is him; while the Prince represents his younger self.
The said book is a narrative of a little boy who lived in a planet smaller than him. (He was therefore an alien since he lived in another planet.) In his planet, there were three volcanoes – two active and one extinct – and a flower. He left his planet and wandered through the universe. He went to different planets and met different creatures. He met the King who had no subjects but a rat, which he always condemned but pardoned repeatedly so as to be able to practice his authority; the conceited man who wore hat for saluting people, but no one ever passed his way; a drinker, who drank to forget that he was ashamed of his drinking; the businessmen, who counted stars and write them on a paper to own them before anyone dadoes; the lamplighter whose job was so saddening because he turned off and on the light every moment so there would be more sunset and the geographer, who counted volcanoes and rivers he had not seen. Then, he went to our planet Earth. Here he met the fox that he tamed; the pilot who crashed down the Saharan Dessert and to whom he told his experiences and the snake, which sent him back to his planet by biting him.
I first read this story in my first year college. Ma’am Alambro required us to do so. At first, I found it odd that a college student would be required to read a children’s book which can be read for less than two hours. I enjoyed reading the book, anyway. I found it funny and light but I cried when I read the ending. I love the drawings too. As I read it, I felt as though I was reading a comic book. Later however, after reading it for the second and third time I learned each time that the simple words and humors of the book have deeper meanings. I realized that the book is not actually a children’s book that was intended to make its readers laugh. It is actually a novel for adults, for them to ponder deep.
The story also has taught me lessons. First is that simple things can make us happier person, that there are more important things than just being concerned of “matter of consequences” and “multiplication” and “figures”. Second, I have learned how important it is to tame others, take responsibility of our roses and look for an extraordinary well in a dessert. Third,It has taught me what to do when I am confused and have decisions to make. Like the Little Prince, I must find the answer for myself. I must conquer the universe to learn and experience many things that would help me on deciding. Most importantly, I have learned we need to grow old but not so much so I wouldn’t forget the simplicity and idealism of my youth.
I have read a lot of book. Some are classics. Some are contemporaries. I like them all. I have learned lots of things from those books. They talked about racism, feminism, culture, freedom, justice, peace, sci-fi and mystery – which are interesting. They tell me how complicated life is. Yet, no one of those answered how life can be made simpler but this book did. However, I know this book can’t give me permanent solutions to every problem – to few only. But it’s still worthy to read and take some of its advices.
By the way, the pilot was asking us a favor that if we see the Little Prince we must write to him immediately. Several years had passed but the author is still looking for him. Please help him and do use your heart as you search for him ‘cause as the author said “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invinsible to the eyes”. Who knows, maybe he is just hiding in my journal or in your diary or maybe standing in front of you when you look at yourself in the mirror.
My FavoriteLines from the Book
“Grown-ups love figures. When you describe a new friend to them, they never ask you about important things. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.” Chapter 4
“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” Chapter 13
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Chapter 11
“You know – one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…” Chapter 6
“In that case you should judge yourself. That is the most difficult job of all.” Chapter10