What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye

Daily Thoughts

No matter where we are in the world, it’s the state of mind that you’re in that determines the life you want to live. When you’re filled with gratitude and love, you appreciate what you already have. Whereas, if you’re filled with fear, you can feel a sense of lack and worry. The experiences you have, the people you surround yourself with, the places you travel to, the books you read, the food you eat, the music you listen to, the thoughts you feed yourself and the lessons you learn. Life is unpredictable. It reminds us that living in the present is all we truly have, and that the past and the future can often rob us of enjoying, embracing and accepting the moment.

“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…”

“They don’t find it,” I answered.

“And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”

“Of course,” I answered.

And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

The title is an excerpt from the book, The Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” This reminds us of the importance of seeing beneath the surface. We can never really know anyone, not many people, so deeply that we can understand the experiences and layers they have experienced. We live in a deeply visual world and images have so much power and influence. However, the things that truly matter in our lives, are things that can’t be seen but are felt. They are the experiences we have, not the materials. They are the relationships we have, not the status.

The life we experience is ultimately the one we feel within. It makes me think of how a person can be externally happy, but they could be going through an incredibly tough time. It makes me think of how a person can seem serious and may not always smile, but they can also have the biggest heart and kindness through their actions. It’s important to not judge a book by its cover. Nobody is perfect, no matter what it seems, and no matter what it looks like from the outside. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, what clothes you wear or how big your house is. It matters how you treat others, your sense of character and values. Those parts of you, whether that be your intelligence, compassion, wisdom, humour, or enthusiasm, are what make you you.

There are many lessons in The Little Prince. One of the lessons that stand out to me, is the topic of love. What is truly important can only be felt and seen with the heart. This world needs love. We can do many things and never be joyful, but perhaps our happiness could be found in one simple thing (“in a single rose”). Our eyes may indulge in temporary beauty and what lies on the surface. The temporary satisfaction won’t give us a sense of long term contentment. The true beauty of a person comes from their heart. Whatever you do today, remember to look with the heart.

Art by Monica Barengo

The Most Beautiful Things In Life Can’t Be Seen

Daily Thoughts

tumblr_oi38ymKEwM1rvgw6io2_1280.jpgThe best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller. A beautiful reminder that reminds us to place more value on how we can become a better person through our mind and heart. Everything that is important to us in our lives are never materials or appearances. They tend to be our loved ones, the world we live in and the relationships and memories we have in our lives. “I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince. 

“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” ― Audrey Hepburn. Women in the media are constantly seen only by their physicality. They’re judged by their appearances which can cause many people to put more self worth in the way they look. Women should be seen through their wisdom, intelligence, abilities and strength. A women is more than a pretty face. There is no amount of makeup or amount of clothes that can hide an ugly heart.

I have to express that, because it seems strange to me when people are more often celebrated for their body and appearances than what is inside. I read an article titled The Beauty In Real Sex Appeal, which unfolds the quote in more detail: “Audrey Hepburn. The woman of her time. She was the face of classiness in Hollywood during the Sixties but she did not succumb to allowing herself to be viewed as a mere sex-object. Rather she was esteemed as a legend in the realm of wholesome beauty and class…What does this mean? She is so eloquently saying that just by being created a woman that she is sexy.”

This explains how much our society needs to really grasp the message of true beauty. In the article, Leonhardt also writes: “Audrey Hepburn celebrated her womanliness, her sex appeal, not in some minuscule attempt by unveiling the mystery of who she is in the bedroom to the entire world but instead by showing her grace, class and wholesome beauty through the way she conducted herself. She showed the extraordinaire of her body through ordinary things like simply standing in the rain. That inner confidence of beauty is real sex appeal.” Social Media is now a common example of millions of people who receive attention for showing their body and face.

“You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.” ― Audrey Hepburn. You can tell a lot about someones heart, from what they say to other people. This is extremely true, as this often shows our true nature. You can also tell a lot from how someone treats other people. A person that only speaks about other people by gossiping, is likely to be untrustworthy and focused on others lives. A person that doesn’t go into others business, but speaks words of kindness and truth, reflects a lot about themselves.

When we look with the heart, we remember what is important in life. “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince. It’s those moments we laugh that give us the greatest joy in life. It’s the feeling of helping others and bringing a smile to their face. The most simple things like being surrounded by nature, can give us the feeling of great peace and appreciation. Think of the feeling when you wake up to look at a sunrise, listen to a song that moves you or that feeling of embracing someone you haven’t seen in a long time. That kind of beauty touches our heart.

Audrey Hepburn photographed by Sam Shaw in Paris,1957

What The Little Prince Taught Me

Books

Growing up, you may of read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As I was sitting in a cafe called Woolloomooloo in Taipei last year with my dear friend, she told me how she was reading the book. It brought back a lot of memories of the book, and as one of those classics that have been read time and time again, I was curious to watch the film which came out in 2015. There are rarely books and movies (with the exception of Harry Potter), where I felt like I loved both of them. The film magically intertwined The Little Prince with the story of a young girl. The most important message I felt was the power of imagination. The wonderful joy, love, happiness and excitement it brings. New adventures and a boundless mind. The water colour paintings, wise words and wonderful story is really a reminder for us that we were all once children. “All grown ups were children once… but only few of them remember it.” – Saint-Exupéry.

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When you were younger, did you remember asking endless questions out of curiosity, going on adventures of make believe, having your first imaginary friend and laughing uncontrollably about nothing. Whatever it was, a part of growing up can often suppress many parts of our childhood self, that so often is a crucial part of us to carry within us for the rest of our lives. Human nature can only survive by reaching for what is within, rather than what is without. As we grow older, there are many parts of our surroundings we only look at from the surface. The book shows the little prince, being amazed at the drawing of an elephant inside a boa constrictor, where as the adults can only see a hat. How mysterious we are inside. The secrets we hold, the words waiting to be unlocked and the way we think. When we grow older, it can become a habit to judge on a person’s exterior, rather than realising the journey they have come. The stories that are untold and the wonderful true self that they may partially hide. The Little Prince reminds us not to lose the goodness that is in all of us.

fb807d5721ed3e8e075ab466dbbfe2fbThis book is a lot deeper than one may find, but it is also the kind of book you read and do not forget. There are many themes, such as friendship, human nature, truth, innocence, reality, imagination and so forth. We are reminded to be like the little prince in many ways. To hold onto our true selves, to seek from within rather than without and be an honest person. Pulling down the brick walls that can often be built as we grow older. Lessening the judgment of those that walk around us in our daily lives. Remembering to see the beauty and simplicity in the world, and most of all, cherish and nurture special relationships for every individual is a magical treasure of secrets.

little_prince_boa_constrictor“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” It could not be any truer. Everything that is truly beautiful, is always felt inside. I’d like to think that we can always encompass a child like imagination and see beyond the surface of our minds. Unfortunately we often assume, look and judge based on what is immediately seen. The Little Prince reminds us to have an open heart, open mind and to embrace our imagination, rather than let it go. If you get the chance, have a read of the book. If you were wondering what had happened to the elephant, he is still inside the boa constrictor.