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Waiting for my train, I watched the snow fall. There was no breeze, so the big flakes fell lazily, aimlessly towards the ground. One flake caught my attention and I started to follow it with my eyes. It moved side to side, going up a little and then falling down again. Instantly, it felt like as if there was a connection. It became special to me, that I only knew. As if it mattered where it falls. It is the same with people.
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One fall morning I went out for a walk, and went for a cup of coffee in a Hyde Park diner. From my street side seat I could see a young tree on the sidewalk. The tree was almost bare by then, but just two leaves were still clinging on to the thin branches. I looked up and noticed that one of them must have blown away while I was busy with my coffee, and just a single leaf was still fluttering in the strong autumn wind. I immediately realized that now I cannot leave, I must watch the last leaf fall, I was connected, I was committed. The leaf struggled for a long time, not sure how long, and in a strong gust, tore off and blew away. It was a sad moment, like seeing a close friend go away for the last time. I paid and walked out of the restaurant. There were many leaves covering the side walk. I looked for my leaf, but could not tell it apart from all the other leaves. It is the same with people.
Another ten years ago I read a little book for the first time. The book still remains one of my favorite -- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The section that touched me most was the Little Prince’s conversation with the fox. The fox wanted to be tamed by the prince. When asked why, this is what the fox said –
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."
Eventually, the Little Prince did tame the fox. When the time came for the prince to leave, the fox said --
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.