Wednesday, December 4, 2013

10 'The Little Prince' Quotes We Should All Live By

I remember when I first read Antoine De Saint-Exupery's 'The Little Prince'. It was as though all those morals I believed in, all those things I thought made someone a good person, were all in this one book. Here I have compiled my top 10 quotes from the book, and explained why I think they are essential to live an honorable and meaningful life. I will explain what each means me to, and why I love it so much, but of course this is only my own interpretation. It will be impacted by my life experience, so like all great literature, you may interpret it how you like.

10. When it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it.

I don't consider this to be just about plants. To me this is about people. When you start to see some negative behaviours in a person you need to work on helping them manage them as soon as possible. Obviously you don't destroy the person, but you must try and treat the behaviour before it gets out of hand. The longer someone has a bad habit for, the harder it is to break. As soon as it is recognised work on breaking it.

9. I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.

This can be taken two ways. To you it could mean that in order to be around beautiful things you need to often be around, and accept, the not so beautiful things (I say beautiful as in means of a soul, not appearance) to find them. I see this moreso though, as people can grow into more beautiful souls. That often it is the one's you would not expect who turn into the butterflies.

8. I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him... The land of tears is so mysterious.

This doesn't need much explanation. How do you really reach someone who is hurt? Can anyone really feel someone elses pain and get in there with them? It feels so alone to be in a state of depression, but it feels just as lonely watching someone you love go through it.

7. All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it.

This is an ongoing theme in 'The Little Prince'. I don't view the grown ups though, as adults, and I don't view the children just as kids. I view the children as all people in the world who still have an imagination. Those who hold onto a sense of innocence, and don't lose themselves as they grow up. I view the adults as those who care only about the extrinsic things; about money, appearance, what job you have, etc. So, from this quote, everyone once has had the innocence and imagination of a child, but many forget it and lose sight of this. I have known many teenagers who have already lost it, who appear to already forget what it was like to have that sense of wonder about the world. They stop questioning, they stop wanting to know, they start thinking they know it all. I hope one day they all remember what it was like to be a child again.

6. Words are the source of misunderstandings.

There is another very famous similar quote to this one - "silence is the only thing that can not be misquoted". Basically, this is saying that through words we misunderstand what others are saying, and that people often say things without realising how the other person would take it. Words can also mislead people. Someone may interpret it the way they want to hear it. Think about when you first start to like someone, you take anything they say as hope for there to be a potential relationship. Words can be dangerous, and you should always be careful with them.

5. It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

There are billions of people in this world. To an alien we would all look the same, unless that alien got to know someone, to care for them, to love them. They would then look different from everyone else. This is what I believe this quote to be about. You don't find someone important, or love them, just because they exist. It is the time you have spent together, the things you have battled through, the memories you have built, that make them so important to you. As 'The Little Prince' says "I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in the whole world".

4. One runs the risk of weeping a little if one allows himself to be tamed.

When we love someone, and get hurt, we get so angry at ourselves for letting them in. You must remember though, that as soon as you let someone close to you, as soon as you trust them, then that is the risk you take. Of course, it might hurt. God, I know how excruciating the pain can be, but that is the chance you take to feel the happiness of love.

3. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it's because you're truly a wise man.

This shouldn't need explaining. People spend too much time judging others, and talking badly about them. That is easy, but how many of these people can really look at themselves properly and see what they don't like? How many of us really face ourselves and are willing to change things? Instead too many people spend this time judging others, rather than facing what really could better themselves. As Jung said "everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves".

2. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Stop living by appearances, and thinking others are how they look on the outside. Look beyond that. Look at the person they are underneath the exterior. That is what is important. I have often said that we should wear our brains and hearts on the outside (not in a gross way) so that people are really seen for their true beauty.

1. You become responsible forever for what you've tamed.

This is my all time favourite quote. It has meant a lot to me, and hits me very deeply. Basically, it's this. If you care for someone, if you make a promise, if you let them know they are your friend, then you are responsible for the way you treat them. You can't just walk away when you're done, and treat them badly, and think it's ok. If you have a child, it is your responsiblity to look after them. If you tell someone you love them, you must mean it. If you make a friend, always be mindful of the kind of friend you are. Be aware. Be kind. Be responsible. 

Honourable Mention - What makes the desert so beautiful, is that somewhere it hides a well.

Honourable Mention - "What makes the desert beautiful," says the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well."

Because sometimes you will find what you need in the places you least expect. That’s what makes them so beautiful.

So, that's my top ten favourite quotes. If you haven't read the book you need to asap. Here is a link: The Little Prince

This post is dedicated to my good friends Ann and Kate who introduced me to 'The Little Prince' at a time in my life when I really needed him.


  1. great reading this at 1am, now im going to stay up all night thinking about life and all my stupid decisions I've made and run little scenarios in my head till morn haha thanks, shaheen

  2. If it has made you think then my mission is accomplished. Don't beat yourself up on things you have done, just work on making yourself better.

  3. I just watched The Little Prince on Netflix. I googled the quote One runs the risk of weeping a little if one allows himself to be tamed.
    That was my favorite quote I have never read this book but now I will such a beautiful story and way of seeing life!

    1. Me too! Thank you for this. Such a powerful quote and movie. I will be painting these on my wall one day.

    2. Don't go with the movie. Read the book. Then read Wind, Sand, and Stars by the same author.
      The movie didn't do justice to the book.

  4. A good to read story, yes, I agree that beautiful things in this world can't be seen nor touched those were felt by our heart.
    It makes me realize something. Forever, I will never forget this. Thanks

  5. This is beautiful. Thank you.


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