On October 23, 2019, The #NewYorkTimes published an article about the protests all over the world from Chile to Lebanon. So far, the rash of protests cannot be categorized. Each protest has its background, its triggers, and its analysis (or not!).
As a general observation though, it feels like something is happening worldwide, and it is not some form of surreal energy; to preempt any fatalistic question.
Today, I consciously chose to review a book I first read when I was 10 years old. Since then, I did not keep count of the number of times I read it again.
I think that everyone should read this book now whether you have read it earlier or not.
In an earlier post, I supported the authors of Why Nations Fail explaining that poverty is man-made. Well, yes among other things.
I do not think that what the world is witnessing is an upheaval and I do not think it is a turmoil neither.
There is a crisis at the humanity level that requires reading urgently “le petit prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; language barrier is not an excuse to read it. It has been translated into 300 languages to date.
What it is about
The book is a classic bittersweet novel first published in 1943. Initially the protagonist was set to travel the world in search of knowledge. As much as it sounds and looks like a book for children (and aren’t we all?), it is surely a fable that speaks to every adult too.
The book is close to the spiritual journey of the author. It has proven to be timeless in its charm as it reminds the reader that we are still children; only our bodies grow older.
We only grow when we leave our comfort zone in our “tiny planet”. When we discover the universe, we get more familiar with the behaviors of adults through various peculiar encounters.
Why you should read it now (even if it would not be your first time)
In many reading and book review platforms, the book is considered as a phenomenon rather than a simple book. This is commercially due to the sales, translations, and readership.
The book describes adults as “absurd, going nowhere quickly, and persisting stubbornly in mindless pursuits” – does it ring a bell?
You should read this book NOW because it is a wake-up call to “be boys (and girls) again at will”; as this is where genius lies. This concept evolved later with J.M. Barrie who invested Peter Pan, the ever-child.
“The little prince” invites readers to go back to childhood taking away from adulthood what matters: the ability to express oneself.
In this global human “bouillon”, I only wish to invite every person to ask herself this question: what is it that you tamed, and you are responsible for, forever?
There is no standard answer; just like the ending of the book. I still change my mind whenever I read it as to whether the ending is happy or sad.
There is only one constant: adults are absurd and all attempts to define them remain hazy.
To conclude, “the little prince” may be an enlightening political treaty. It was written as the author was severely isolated and amid an era full of social anxiety and political turbulence.
Look at Saint-Exupery’s perspective. It is driven by love.
Write in the comment box what book you think can be compared to “the little prince” yet positioning an understanding of politics driven by fear.
Did you know that in 1944, Saint-Exupery set out to Corsica to overfly France?
…He never returned.
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