When people ask me to define love, I say, "Love is like handing someone a gun, having them point it at your heart, and trusting them to never pull the trigger." (Sponge Bob)

When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)

When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)

And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)

And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)

My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.

Jul 8, 2008

The Little Prince, Life Space and Book Review

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

Familiar with the lines?

I'll keep you guessing if you're not. So just read on…


I have heard a lot of this term in my four years in Psychology. It didn't stop there. The more I encountered these two meaningful words when I went to graduate college. And more of it, I use in my analyses during my counseling sessions. Though I must say, with all honesty, I'm not an expert in uncovering such. Just a little bit!

But what do these two short words mean?

First, let us define life.

Life means, according to my Microsoft Encarta is existence in the physical world. It also refers to the whole duration of one's being able to breath, take in food, adapt to the environment, grow and reproduce. It may also refer to the period during which something continues to function. And it denotes a way of living characteristic of a particular group or individual.

Secondly, let's take a closer look at the meaning of space.

Space refers to the region that lies beyond the Earth's atmosphere, and all that it contains. Thus, it also implies the region, usually of negligible density, between all celestial bodies in the universe. In addition, it can also mean the unbounded three-dimensional expanse in which all matter exists.

Putting both meaning to a more psychological perspective in defining life space, it is the bounded (Not unbounded, you have to take not of that. Because a person's life is ruled by rights where one's rights end as another's rights begin.) expanse in which a person or an individual functions, such that, all his/her personal experiences (exclusively his/hers) and other unique or distinctive characteristics absolute in him/her with all their dynamic make-up influences, controls, motivates and shapes his/her behavior, activities, thoughts, beliefs, philosophies, points of view, feelings, and all other endowment of being human.

Correct me if I am wrong because the meaning I just shared with you came from my own understanding as I get it and as I use it in my everyday practice. Anyway, this is an interactive blog. You can throw shots at me if you wish to. Just be gentle, all right!? I'm quite sensitive you, know. Argh!

But how is this in any way connected in my book review?

Have you read or heard about The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery?

Well, this is all about it. I first saw the book from high school but didn't pay attention to even just skim read it. When I was in college, Vanessa, a close friend, mentioned it to me. Saying it is a wonderful book. She was talking about the stars (Well, I presumed she talks about it because she has a fetish on stars. I didn't know it is in any way linked to her Little Prince.) and give remarks on "what-is-essential-is-invisible-to-the-eye" stuff. "Hell, well!", I said, "Whatever!"

I came across it the next time when I watched with my family a Filipino movie where Angel Locsin received an old book from her secret admirer, that is, Richard Guttierez, entitled The Little Prince. Since then, I told myself, "What in the world is with The Little Prince that sensible people like Vanessa and Richard (the actor in his character, well, I don't know in person…) likes the book? What's in the book?" so I thought, I have to have a copy of the book. So after three years of watching the movie, thirteen years away from college, and seventeen years from high school (don't compute my age)… that soon, (Hehehehe!) that I got the chance to have a copy of the book.

Okay, enough for the recollection… let's get to business.

The Little Prince. Life space. "One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

First scene: The writer, when he was six, has drawn a boa constrictor which ate a whole elephant. The grown-ups around him laughed at his drawing, saying it wasn't a snake, but a hat. He stopped drawing since then.

Lesson: The simplicity of a child sometimes speaks more of than what adults can. In other words, don't show your drawings to dumb grown-ups!

Second scene: The Little Prince was talking about baobabs, a kind of tree that grows too big for his planet that it can explode his planet into pieces if it is not uprooted upon its recognition that it is a baobab.

Lesson: Any bad habit starts as an exciting little adventure, that when you get to like it, it fits deep into your system like strong roots and it becomes difficult for you to unlearn it. In short, stop experimenting, there is a term called vicarious learning.

Third scene: A little planet occupied by a seemingly monarch who thinks he rules the stars and everything that inhabits his planet, where there is none that he knows of.

Lesson: Grown-ups are sometimes like that, they feel as if they have already mastered everything that they can manipulate everything, including other people. They have forgotten that authority is based first of all upon reason – reason that is morality-based, acceptable in other words, and seeks the good for not just one but for the majority, including both living and non-living things. Just a warning – "These people are dangerous!"

Fourth scene: The Little Prince moved in to the second planet which is inhabited by a very vain man who assumes every other creature is his admirer when the only creature in his planet is himself.

Lesson: Sometimes, I mean, more often that sometimes, man becomes too proud of himself that he forgets the terms "consideration" and "respect". My message, "Get real!"

Fifth scene: The third planet is inhabited by a drunkard who drinks because he feels depressed and ashamed of himself because he drinks too much.

Lesson: Man becomes so filthy. Their smuttiness more often than not is because of their own wrong doing. Simply put it, "Grown-ups are really very, very strange."

Sixth scene: The fourth planet belonged to a businessman who assumes he owns the stars because he thought of owning them first and he can put them in a bank by counting how many stars are there, writing the number in a piece of paper and keeping the paper in his drawer.

Lesson: Argh! A waste of time. Wasted life. Adults usually invest much of their effort doing not so sensible things. And they assume they do it because they are serious people. Oh come on!

Seventh scene: The fifth planet was rather extra small with a lamp and a lamplighter which is too absurd to be there because the sun shines and sets every minute, there is no need for an artificial light.

Lesson: People become so preoccupied with something they don't need. They just wake up one day, there life is almost over, but they haven't done a single act with meaning in their life. In short, "Damn!"

Eighth scene: The sixth planet was ten times bigger than the last. And there lived a geographer who holds a big book and claims that what he does is very important to humanity. But alas! He doesn't even know whether a single ocean or mountain exists in his own planet. He says, such is the work of an explorer. When asked if he too has a record of flowers, he retorted there was none because flowers are ephemeral.

Lesson: People sometimes act as this geographer. We claim we know everything. We even try to challenge the one who created us. But in the end, we can't even prove our own existence, not even the substance of our being present.

Ninth scene: At last, the Little Prince has reached Earth. But regrettably, the first creature he met was a snake. (And by God, we all know what snakes represent here on Earth!) And thus went the conversation:

Little Prince: Good evening.
Snake: Good evening.
Little Prince: What planet have I landed on?
Snake: Earth. In Africa.
Little Prince: And are there no people on Earth?
Snake: It's the desert here. There are no people in the desert. Earth is very big.
Little Prince: It's a little lonely in the desert.
Snake: It's also lonely with people.
Little Prince: You're a funny creature, no thicker than a finger.
Snake: But I'm more powerful than a king's finger.
Little Prince: You're not very powerful. You couldn't travel very far.
Snake: I can take you further than a ship. Anyone I touch, I send back to the land from which he came. But you're innocent, and you come from a star… I feel sorry for you, being so weak in this granite Earth, I can help you, someday, if you grow too homesick for your planet. I can –
Little Prince: Oh, I understand just what you mean, but why do you always speak in riddles?
Snake: I solve them all.

Lesson: Snakes are all around the planet Earth. Beware! They may fit in the shoe of wisdom or lure you with their beauty or may even entice you with exquisite colors, but as I have said, snakes will always be snakes. Keep off the bait!

Tenth scene: The Little Prince came across a blossoming rose garden where he realized her rose was not the only rose in the entire universe as what his rose claims she is. And he said to himself, "she would be very annoyed if she saw this… She would cough terribly and pretend to be dying, to avoid being laughed at. And I'd have to pretend to be nursing her; otherwise, she'd really let herself die in order to humiliate me."

Lesson: Don't be arrogant. Don't be conceited. Don't be egotistic. Don't be haughty. In short… be humble! Did I just enumerate synonymous words? Duh!

Eleventh scene: And now here comes the fox from whom the Little Prince learned that One sees clearly with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.

Lesson: Argh! Don't be stupid! I know that you know what that means.

Twelfth scene: (I'm excited, we're almost there…) And so the Little Prince met with our author, and again, like the snake, back into the desert. "What happened there?", you may ask in equal anticipation, but let me lay this straight… blah… blah… blah… Ooooppssss! What happened? My words spill no more!

Lesson: Don't rely much on strangers. Get a copy of the book! As for that discussion on life space... well, I kinda like to hear from you before I get the dice rolling.

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