By Cinnamon Pieters – Psychological Counsellor
Poignant, short and life-changing…
These are the words that came to mind as I finished reading the last page of this little gem of childlike wisdom. The one thing that stood out the most for me and this is probably because of where I am in life right now, is the conversation between the Little Prince and the businessman of asteroid 328 about ‘matters of consequence’.
Matters of consequence is the monkey on your back, the constant worry about money and the job you hate but still go to every day because, well, its a matter of consequence. The consequence being that you will starve if you follow the childhood dream that you still nurture somewhere deep in your soul. As we grow older we are told that some dreams are just not practical or feasible, and God forbid if they bring no acclaim to the family name because, lets say it all together, it is a matter of consequence…but who suffers most from the consequences?
Just like the businessman, our lives are consumed and controlled by numbers. We raise our children to chase a number…a test score, the number on the scale, the number of zeroes in their bank accounts. It is an endless cycle of chasing one number to attain another number and so we lose track of the things that matter most. The number of meters of floor space in our homes has increased, but our number of true and intimate friends has decreased.
As I grow older, I find myself less concerned with these so-called ‘matters of consequence’ that leave me stressed, worried and feeling like I have lived a thousand adult lives, and I find myself more interested in matters of the heart. I find myself reveling and getting lost in the glorious imaginations of children whose laughter sounds like ice-cream on a warm summer day and who still believe that they can do anything in the world as long as they have a unicorn as a friend. The fox said it best: “Here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
So if a child shows you a drawing of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, don’t tell them that its a hat or that they should rather focus on matters of consequence. Matters of consequence will always be around but childlike innocence and freedom of imagination, that’s where happiness resides…