You may have noticed that animated cartoons are becoming more popular among both young and adult spectators. Conveying to the audience a powerful message in a simplest way could be one of the reasons cartoons’ success. Here I would like to share with some of personal reflections on the cartoon The Little Prince based on the same-named novel written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Rich with metaphors the story about adventures of the Little Prince unveil philosophical and psychological aspects of the life and becoming an adult. The book contains plethora of riveting quotes. So let me bring to your attention some expressions that captivated me and could be thought provoking for teachers and parents.
The Little Prince meets a fox that whispers him words of wisdom: And now 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. Unfortunately, it happens that we fail to turn our hearts on, and judge the book by its cover. Frequently we tag some students as a problem learner and even do not take a chance to talk to him/her, spend some time, try to help or solve the problem together. Students with high academic performance are praised, included in various subject competitions, whereas struggling students are left aside, or pushed to attend after school classes which are usually held for show only. The Little Prince tells us to go back to childhood, when heart was open to see those things that eyes could not. Teaching with open heart makes one a real teacher.
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” Daily routines and alarming dates of deadlines in calendar turn the life into dullness or rat race. We want too much control over our feelings to hide the weaknesses and pains. Our attempts to seem stronger than we are in fact, lead to psychological and emotional disorders that result in physical illnesses. Do you remember yourself as a child you used to be grateful and happy for little things? I guess we need to bring up that girl or boy whom we left once we were told that we had grown up.
The worst thing is leaving someone you shared moments of happiness and grief. “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.” Once you set connection with your student and become friends, maintain that ties, do not abandon your young friend. Those ties serve child as a bridge to cross the river, to get to another bank without falling into water. When the time comes to cross the river and he/she does not find the bridge secure enough, it brings child down, that follows with disappointment, helplessness, anger and frustration.
For one, above-written may seem too much exaggerated or kind of caramel words, but sometimes cartoons and stories for children may teach to life better than books and journals on psychology. Plant your rose, nurture and water it. The rose does not stay forever, so try to smell it to the fullest, and after, never forget its fragrance and beauty that once has lit up your world. Maybe your childhood memories were not sweet, but you have a chance to make someone’s better.
St.Exupery, A. D. (1943). The little prince. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.