Monday, November 23, 2009

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: A Children's Story for Grown-Ups

Every child likes fairy tales: they are easy to follow, full of magic and always have a happy end. I have never thought that a fairy tale for grown-ups exists until I read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I have read it when I was second grade, and it was just another story with talking animals, flowers that have wishes, and different characters.
Now I am 18 and I read it again. My God, such a difference!
I appreciated every picture, and not even to talk about every single sentence that the little prince had said. Exupery manages to summarize life’s values in a hundred pages. Even the pictures matter! I was really scared when I realized that I saw a hat, and not a boa constrictor that had eaten an elephant. It made me wonder? Is that it? I am born, I grow up, I enjoy the carelessness of childhood, and suddenly I am all grown up, with the boring vision of a grown-up?
Exupery uses simple language that is understandable for every English speaker, and in the same time he manages to make the child happy and the grown-up a bit sad. The story brings different sense to every age category of readers. I personally believe that one should read The Little Prince every two years. It is a book that has an eternal meaning. Every new reading enriches the mind and brings new sense to everything around.
When I finished the book I got sad. It was during the day, and I was not able to look at the stars. I did it in the evening though, and I smiled, because I knew that somewhere in the deep dark sky a boy cares for his pretentious rose, and loves her for everything that she is and is going to be. I smiled because I realized that being a grown-up is not so bad: there is always a story like this one that can make you happy. Yet, I got a bit sad: just for losing the Peter Pan dream of not growing up: I already did.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a book that every person should have in their library. Not because it is classic, but because it is real and full of magic, childhood, and walks down the memory lane of each and every one of us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hide and Seek: A Childish Game or a Lifestyle?

A few weeks ago I was staring outside the window, and I saw a few kids playing hide and seek. Each and every one of us has participated in this game: someone counts to ten, the others hide and the person is left alone looking for them. I couldn’t help it wonder: is this game left as a happy memory in the past, or are we still playing it in the future? People build illusions, create images, and put together sand castles of qualities and characteristics just to produce the perfect person for the others to see. Suddenly, all of us are left outside this shell, searching for the person, hidden somewhere deep inside.
I have always wondered how a movie star feels. I wonder how it feels to see your picture everywhere, and to be photographed when you go to the shop to buy breakfast. The image of these people is created for them. They present a certain face in front of the general public, and their personal life remains a secret. The sad part is that people are most curious of the things they do not know. Another sad fact is that people are extremely judgmental. Everyone starts digging into the intimate worlds of their idols, and judge them basing on pictures without any value, or on writings that are left without no soul because of the giant corporate machine that desires money.
So even if we keep on playing hide and seek, we definitely do not do it right. We tend to find out inexistent things, just because we do not want to be the seeker. People are consumed by their ego, which makes them believe that they are perfect. Actually, perfection is just an illusion. There is no perfect person. Everyone has their fails and liabilities. This is the most important part of the character, because it is the one common for all people.
One morning, I might open my eyes and realize that I have gotten lost in my search for humanity. One day I might wake up and realize that all the people around me are empty shells with no souls. One day I might be one of the hiding people, and be afraid of seeking. One day, but not today… Actually not tomorrow either. I still hope, and still search, because deep down under the cover, I might find an actual human being.