by Rachelle Lamb
One of my all time favourite stories is The Little Prince. Such a gorgeous book that aims straight for the heart and contains a wealth of wisdom from beginning to end. My favourite part is where the little prince meets the fox and the very pretty fox asks to be tamed. In the French version the word “apprivoiser” is used which I much prefer over the English translation. Tame means to dominate, subdue, win over or “break”. Sadly it’s often how we are with each other and with nature. When asked what “tame” means, the fox replies to the little prince, “It is an act too often neglected. It means to establish ties.” What would our world be like I wonder if we truly established ties, if we learned the language of another, if we would take the time, stand back and observe with soft eyes, if we opened our hearts to care, if we tended the space between us as we would a precious garden, if we fell deeply in love and then wrestled with what it means to need and be needed once the bonds were forged realizing that nothing lasts forever and that our hearts can do no other than break. “What a bargain!” as Rumi would say.
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. ‘Please-tame me!’ he said.
‘I want to, very much,’ the little prince replied. ‘But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.’
‘One only understands the things that one tames,’ said the fox. ‘Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me.’
‘What must I do, to tame you?’ asked the little prince.
‘You must be very patient,’ replied the fox. ‘First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Rachelle Lamb is an author and speaker and is president of Mindful Communication. She has shown thousands how to courageously and skillfully navigate interpersonal tension and conflict, leading toward breakthrough. rachellelamb.com
Raise the bar in personal and professional communication, develop your toolkit to improve trust, understanding and cooperation in all of your relationships. Join Rachelle for her workshop, Mindful Communication, at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, May 26 – 31, 2013