A Baobab Tree In The Heart – Reflections On “The Little Prince “

A baobab tree in the heart - reflections on "The Little Prince"

If we find a baobab tree in our heart, we should pull it out with its root, because its seed harbors fear, uncertainty, deception and anger … Let’s do it like the little prince. Every morning he removed the seeds of the giant baobab tree from his little planet. He did this out of fear that he would get too big. Because if it got too big, its huge roots would destroy everything known and loved.

Some fears are more a sign of intelligence than a phobia and increase our well-being. They regulate our survival because they are controlled fears. Even so, this baobab seed is still able to infect anything. It germinates right there, in the soil of our psychological garden, very quietly, but still changes our balance and focus.

“There are good seeds for good plants and bad seeds for bad plants. They sleep in secret in the ground until one of them wakes up. At this time it begins to lengthen and, shyly at first, a beautiful, harmless little branch grows towards the sun. If it’s a branch of a radish or a rose bush, we can let it grow however it wants, but if it turns out to be a bad plant we have to pull it out as soon as we know what it is. “

The little Prince

It is possible that this is the most interesting of the many reflections Antoine de Saint-Exupéry left us in The Little Prince  . In the book, our little protagonist tore up the sprout of the “bad” seed while he tended and watered the “good” one. The bad seed was that of the baobab tree. It was the one that he and its roots had to get rid of before he could destroy his planet from within. The rose bush seed was the good one.

Baobabs in Africa

This subtle metaphor undoubtedly symbolizes the shape of our fears, from which our cognitive distortions arise. They are the sources that feed worry or sadness that cloud and break our mental palace.

A baobab tree in our hearts – the one we all carry within

Each of us has a baobab tree in our hearts. Today it might just be a seed – invisible, dormant and without problems. However, some of us are already suffering from the effects of its growth. These consist in the tree spreading its roots and stirring up everything around it. He changes everything and destabilizes it. Because fears implode and destroy, just like resentment, internal order, logic and autonomy.

In The Little Prince  , the protagonist asks the pilot in one scene whether the lambs are eating bushes. When he says yes, the protagonist reacts with great joy. He believes he can finally get rid of the baobab threat. The pilot corrects him immediately: a baobab tree is not a bush, but a tree. The baobab tree is as big as a church. It is so huge that not even a herd of elephants would be able to eat one.

The little prince envisioning this scene suggested that maybe he could stack elephants on top of each other. But seconds later, he warned that the best strategy could only be to avoid its growth. Because if a baobab tree has grown too much, there is nothing more to be done. This great destructive element must be stopped at its earliest stage when it is very small and no more than a seed.

“The bottom of the planet was full of baobab seeds. And if we do not remove such a seed in time, it will never be possible to break free from the tree. He’s going to stir up the whole planet. It bores through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small and the baobab tree too big, it will break it. ”

 The little Prince

The little prince watches the horizon

The importance of stopping the baobab tree from growing in the heart

There are some writers who see even more than that in the metaphor of the baobab tree of the little prince. There are those who warn that there could be not only the seeds of our fear but also the beginnings of evil itself. This destructive force makes the heart sick and is able to motivate the worst atrocities. She could give shape to the most devastating scenarios of violence and destruction. We all have these in our collective memory.

Ultimately , this baobab seed was and always will be within us. Whether we let it germinate and grow is up to us. As on the Little Prince’s planet, there are good seeds and bad seeds within all of us. Whether they germinate and take root certainly depends on a myriad of factors. For example, from our upbringing, education and life experience. Nevertheless, we must not forget that it is in our hands whether we want to be hardworking gardeners or not: we can remove the bad plant in time. The bad seed is of no use to us. It destroys the environment and breaks the natural balance of our personal garden.

The little prince took on this important task every day. He’s the one who removed what he didn’t want and took care of what he valued most: his rose bush.

The little prince waters a rose

We don’t need lambs or a herd of elephants piled on top of each other to accomplish this task. When we have a baobab tree in our hearts, it is our responsibility to remove it in time. At least we shouldn’t let its seed grow. This maintenance job adds balance, gives us wisdom and a sense of discipline. It lets us prevent small problems from turning into a huge and terrible baobab tree.

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