Books have always been a source of wisdom, but some excerpts are more expressive than others. Timeless quotes make us think about our lives and the world around us.
Photo Source: thepowerofintroverts.com
Here are some timeless quotes to remember from Antoine de Saint Exupery’s book, The Citadel, the context in which they were written along with a few of my comments.
If you read and liked Saint Exupery’s work, you will enjoy them even more.
These impressive quotes talk about human state and condition, about human life and mind irrespective of its moment in time. The Citadel is a manual for building a metaphorical citadel, through understanding and managing the human society.
1. “Why would I be the ally of what is against of what it will become?”
This is a pretty tricky quote to understand, and you might have to read it twice to understand its essence. The idea was written in the context of the need to change the human state and to raise the man from the (social or moral) filth and make him act better. Exupery thinks rising from this moral and social filth is against the people’s natural state.
2. “If you want them to be brothers, have them build a tower; if you want them to hate each other, throw them grains.”
Somewhat logical, the quote talks about human interaction. Evolution proves that human beings build relationships upon collaboration. Relationships get even tighter in communities where people help each other and build things together. But those who receive everything for granted become envious and start to hate the others for possessing something they want.
3. “Hate is nothing but the lack of satisfaction.”
Another timeless quote: many of us understand the frustrations that grow when we face difficulties in achieving our goals.
4. “Virtue is the perfection of human state and not the absence of flaws.”
This goes well with another quote I heard once: “The little imperfections give the perfection of the human face”. Being perfect does not mean you should not make errors, it means to be aware of the errors and to try to avoid them in order to improve continuously. Besides, perfection is relative as each of us sets his/her own standards of perfection.
5. “Perfection is not a goal to achieve. It is the change to eternity.”
The writer thinks one doesn’t need to focus on becoming perfect. The human being becomes perfect by passing on into eternal life. That life is the perfect one, and we cannot find or achieve it on earth during our lifetime.
Photo Source: salon.com
These are timeless thoughts from Saint Exupery, the French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator of the beginning of the 20th century. From the same author, The Little Prince, considered a must-read children’s book with philosophy for grown-ups, is “among the most poetic and hopeful reflections on human existence ever penned ” as Maria Popova writes on Brainpickings.org.
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