Lessons From Books In Our Past

Apr 13, 2018

  “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.”

Those are not my words. But they do feel clever … and true. 

I didn’t pull these words from a newspaper or probing essay or a TED talk. They come from a book written for children, titled The Little Prince.

Books for kids tell stories with morals, teach values, and say stuff we should all hear.

Like: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Thank you, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Thank you for writing The Little Prince. And thank you to many other authors who write books for kids -- books that should be read by grown-ups.

Children's books are an important foothold for growing up. They introduce us to our first friends. They let us peek through doors. They comfort, tickle, embrace, and even help us face what scares us.

Now, don’t think me silly when I suggest we all go back to those early books that spoke to us. Tell me these words are not still important:

From Winnie the Pooh, by A.A.Milne: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

From Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

If there aren’t any children’s books on your shelf at home (or the office), perhaps there should be. Start with “The Little Prince” again, and this thought: 

“All grown-ups were once children ... but only few of them remember it.”

I’m Lonny Cain, and that’s my perspective.