New Beginnings


Happy New Year 2016

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a fitting book to quote on the first day of this new year. Because “it is only with the heart that we can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye” and seeing reveals all too important aspects of our humanity. The simple tale is told with sincerity. If you intend to buy the book in English, look for Katherine Woods' translation.

For example, Woods renders a phrase quoted by Robin Williams' daughter at her father's funeral beautifully:

“You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You – only you – will have stars that can laugh.”

It was a fitting tribute to a man who used his talent to make us laugh. My father passed away this past December 27 at 2pm in Modena, Italy. My younger sister and I were at his bedside during those last moments and we had the opportunity to hold his hand, talk to him, kiss him goodbye.

Along with the many memories of our conversations of father and daughter, especially this year, I thought about many poems and books he read to us over the years. Relationships take work, and we should not take them for granted. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says it well when the fox meets The Little Prince:

“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”

“It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

“To establish ties?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”

[…]

“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

[…]

“So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–

“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . .”

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”

Every end has new beginnings. The New Year coincides with the winter solstice — days become longer, and spring will follow with its renewal. 2016 opens with the opportunity to begin again.

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Thoughts on “stop collecting and start connecting” on New Year's Day 2015, and 2014 (includes links to previous years) with an alphabetized handy list of verbs so we can be more appropriate, march words into action.

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