Wednesday, 1 October 2003

The Little Prince is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults. On one level it is the story of an airman's discovery in the desert of a small boy from another planet - the Little Prince of the title - and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition.

Such a small book - only 100 pages long - and yet the statements made are so powerful...

“In the evening I want you to put me under a glass dome. It is very cold here where you live. And rather uncomfortable. Now where I come from…”

Too late she interrupted herself. She had arrived as a seed. She could not have known anything about other worlds. Embarrassed at having been discovered preparing such a naïve lie, she coughed a couple of times so as to confuse the little prince.

So the little prince, in spite of the goodwill his love engendered towards her, came gradually to doubt her. He had taken words of no importance seriously and became very unhappy.

“I shouldn’t have listened to her,” he confided to me one day, “one should never listen to flowers. One must admire them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet, but I did not know how to enjoy her…

“…at that time I was unable to understand anything! I should have based my judgement upon deeds and not words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I should never have run away from her! I should have guessed at the affection behind her poor little tricks. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her.”

Unconditional love.

To look beyond the meaningless, flighty or untruthful words into the inner core of our souls. To realise that there is a hurting spirit inside most of us. To know that because God created us, we have a positive contribution to make on this every earth we live on.

And yet, when we hear certain words, when we hear certain stories, we forget that the person involved is still loved by God and still possesses the ability to make that same positive contribution. Our opinion of the person changes. Our judgemental spirit emerges. We forget the numerous good the person had done for us. We no longer see the positive side of the person and instead remain focussed on the mistakes, the wrongs, the bad.

To love anyway...

...besides, how often do words come out of our own mouths without thought? How often do we say things we think of no importance? The Hebrews believed that when we speak, the words we utter become living organisms that grows. And it does. Words are powerful tools in which we need to learn how to use carefully. What we say to people, no matter that we don't mean it, are going to create an impact on them.

A good impact? A bad impact? That is what we have to be careful about.

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