29 January 2007

read this.

I read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince on my commute this morning. Unfortunately, I had to read it in English, but I loved it nonetheless. I understand that if one has ever taken French lessons, they will have read this story a million times. But I hadn't read it since I was a child, so this was a treat. One of my favorite things that it does is teach the value of keeping your mind open, approaching things with a wide-eyed childlike curiosity and asking tons of questions. An exerpt:
If I've told you these details about Asteroid B-612 and if I've given you its number, it is on account of the grown-ups. Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask quetsions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?" They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him. If you tell grown-ups, "I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof...," they won't be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, "I saw a house worth a hundred thousand francs." Then they exclaim, "What a pretty house!"
True. Growing up clouds things sometimes. Remember Russell's exercise at the planning conference last year? Kids did better than planners, engineers and business school students.
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