“I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.” ~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
As many people around the world, today November 9th, 2016, I am heartbroken.
I woke up to the darkest night and could not fall back to sleep thinking about the future and what electing Donald J. Trump as the new president of the United States meant, not only for the United States but for the entire world. I tossed and turned, I thought about my child, who doesn’t yet understand, but whose life will probably be affected, I thought about myself as a Mexican who just became an America citizen, about climate change and about everything Barack Obama has built for eight years, which is now in danger.
I cried in confusion and disappointment, I stayed in this moment for what seemed an eternity.
“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”
Finally, I got out of bed, opened a drawer next to my bedside drawer and took out a little book that has always been with me through dark times, no, it wasn’t the Bible, it was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
It’s story of this little guy who lives in an asteroid (B-612 to be precise) and lovingly takes care of it every day, he tends to his volcanoes, his single rose and the weeds that grow on it. He doesn’t understand the way grown-ups think and how they are always “mixing everything up together…confusing everything…” becoming mushrooms that never look at the stars or love, they are only obsessed with adding up figures and busy with matters of consequence.
Throughout the characters in this book Saint-Exupéry unfolds human nature, different personalities that we acquire when we become “grown-ups.”
When thinking about today’s election, I consider the conceited man in asteroid B-326 and how all we wanted was to be admired and applauded; I think about the king in asteroid B-325 and his desperate need to rule and give away silly orders to no one, because he lived all alone in his asteroid; I think about the businessman in asteroid B-328 and how he just wanted to own every single star.
Humanity is greedy and hungry for power, the price to pay is high and hopefully, we will wake up before is too late, “the grown-ups are certainly very odd.”
But we live on Earth and let’s not forget, “The Earth is not just an ordinary planet! One can count, there are 111 kings, 7000 geographers, 900,000 businessmen, 7,500,000 tipplers, 311,000,000 conceited men—that is to say, about 2,000,000,000 grown-ups,” and now, one orange president.
I have carried The Little Prince with me everywhere I go and I read it over and over again whenever my heart needs a little fix.
Today we all need a little fix in our broken hearts, we need a little hope to get up, take a shower, wash off the sadness and peacefully fight for our future, for equal rights, for climate change, for kindness and for love. Because even if this is a story of pain and loss, it is also a story of hope and comfort; of surrender, trust, and care for what we love, for what we are responsible for, because we are responsible for what we have tamed. “One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things already made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends anymore. If you want a friend, tame me…”
Let’s stop buying friendships and relationships, let’s built them from scratch, let’s unite and march forward together toward the political platform we still believe in. Let us look up at the stars and find those five hundred million little bells and five hundred little springs of water the Little Prince talked about.
“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.”
So following Hillary’s concession speech, I wish we not only open our minds but also our hearts so that we can see what our eyes cannot show us.
Author: Montse Leon
Image: Author’s own, Instagram @walkthetalkshow
Editor: Caitlin Oriel