This article is part of a series of articles about the life lessons we can get from the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Here is a link to the first part of this series: Part 1.
As he commenced his journey, the little prince found himself passing along a neighborhood of asteroids. He then began to visit them one by one. And one such planet is Asteroid-328 wherein a busy businessman resides.
The businessman was so busy buying stars and counting figures that as the little prince have had described him: “He has never done anything in his life but add up figures. And all day he says over and over… ‘I’m busy with matters of consequences.’ And that makes him swell up with pride.”
And as the author have had described the businessman, he was “… so much occupied that he did not even raise his head at the little prince’s arrival.” I think the businessman’s story is an allegorical tale of man’s pursuit of worldly wealth. If you let it run wild, you can lose yourself in the process.
Means To An End
When he (the businessman) was asked what does he do with those stars, he said: “Nothing. I own them.” Then the little prince asked him what good does it do him to own the stars, he said it does make him the good of making him rich. And when he was asked by the little prince what good does it to him to be rich, he said it makes it possible for him to buy more stars. This seems to me like a sad state to be in. The pursuit of wealth should only be a means to an end. They should never be the end themselves. We should never let greed take over our being. As they say, money is a great servant but a poor master.
The little prince said that if he owns sonething such as his scarf, he could make use of it and take it with him. “But you cannot pluck the stars from heaven…”, said the little prince. The businessman said that indeed he can’t but he can put them in a bank. That he can write the number of stars that he owns on a little paper and then put this paper in a drawer and lock it away. “That is enough”, the businessman added. The little prince said that it is entertaining but it is nothing of great consequence.
Finally the little prince said that it is of some use to the things he owns that he owns them. “But you [on the the otherhand] are of no use to the stars…”, said the little prince. The businessman attempted to opened his mouth but he found himself confounded and nothing to say in answer to the little prince’s statement.
Reflect And Ponder
Now let’s ponder and reflect upon the businessman’s story. The lesson the story is trying to convey is pretty telling. We just have to read between the lines. But don’t worry, I will share my own thoughts regarding the implications of the story in the next installment of this series. Hopefully it will help you reconsider how you see the pursuit of worldly wealth in general.
Okay that’s it for now, thank you for reading this entry. I hope you got something out of it. Something valuable. Something that you can apply in your own life. If you would like to add something that you feel would be of great help to the other readers. Feel free to do so by dropping a comment down below. I and (I presume) the other readers would love to hear from you. Again, thank you for reading this entry. Cheers! Till next time!😊👋
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