I must admit, I really didn’t “get” the Little Prince until I was an adult. These quotes touched my heart, as I hope they will speak to you today. It's interesting that Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote this book 1n the 1940's, but the message rings clear in 2014!
“All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”
We early childhood educators remember, and we fight the battle to preserve childhood every day!
“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
We’ve all known a few creepy caterpillars who have turned into beautiful butterflies in our classrooms - and flown away!
Grown-ups love figures... When you tell them you've made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? " Instead they demand "How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? " Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
Education decision makers certainly like figures, don’t they? They forget to find out if the children know how to get along with others. Do they like school? What’s their favorite song? What games do they like to play?
“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems... But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me... You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”
And as children grow and move on in school, I hope they will remember us as the stars. And when they think of us, they will hear a song and laugh!
My mother's birthday is this week, and I still hear her song, and remember, and smile!