Some might think making college students read a children’s book is a bit strange
Some might think making college students read a children’s book is a bit strange, but that is exactly what I would do. I was first introduced to Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s transformative work in the fall of my junior year, during French class. After reading it, I fell in love with ‘Le Petit Prince’, and truly realized its importance. Saint-Exupéry entwines childhood and maturity, showing a young boy articulating his experiences like a wise old man. It brings to light the banality of human existence, using several small planets as metaphors for greed, power, blind conformity, narcissism, and actionless wisdom. The little prince’s adventures are laden with invaluable lessons. It teaches the readers to look beyond the surface, reminds us that judging ourselves is much more difficult – and oftentimes more important – than judging others, warns us against being too serious and losing the ability to appreciate the beauty of what you have, and prompts us to take action to go where the heart desires rather than only dreaming about it. The book begs to question what growing up is all about, asks fundamental questions about our existence, and explores valuable lessons along the way. It doesn’t just teach kids about growing up, it teaches grown-ups how to be better grown-ups. So for anyone who would scoff at why I believe it important for college students to read a children’s book, I would tell them it’s much more than that; it’s really a book for the child within us.