Thirty-five words that explain so much about life

Antoine De Saint-Exupery's letterpress broadside

Quote from Antoine De Saint-Exupery crafted into letterpress broadside

When I happened upon a quote one day many months back, I realized I had to know more about the man, Antione de Saint-Exupery, who had penned it. My research revealed that he was a rather amazing guy. This French author, pilot, journalist and aristocrat was born in 1900 and died forty-four years later when the plane he was flying on a reconnaissance mission for the Free French Air Force was shot down over the Mediterranean. My research also noted that Saint-Expery wrote a lot of things that people love to quote.

His most famous work was The Little Prince and, taken together, his writings have been translated into over 250 languages and dialects.

This long-dead Frenchman, without having a clue he would do it, had reached into my soul with words that put much of what I believe about life into a concise package of thirty-five words. I kept mulling over what he wrote and, eventually, decided I needed to put his words into print. I had to share his philosophy because it was my philosophy. I wanted to use a broadside as the vehicle to explain to others why being free is such a mystically wonderful experience, why being free allows the creative energies of people to flower as nothing else can. Being free is critical to living a robust life that permits people to explore experiences and challenges.

In short, being free permits us to live.

I am not talented at designing, so I asked my son Nick to work with me on the project. He created the design and I turned it into a letterpress broadside. You can see the Saint-Exupery broadside here. Whenever I glance up at it, Saint-Exupery’s words serve to remind me that the secret of people being creative rests in letting people discover what fascinates them and then get out of their way.

As Saint-Exupery put it: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Check out for yourself the man and his wonderful quotes. I think they will inspire.

Until later. . .

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2 Responses to Thirty-five words that explain so much about life

  1. Jim Dittmann February 3, 2017 at 1:59 am #

    Hey Mike – Bravo! Can I get one? I’s like to gift one to a good friend …

    • Mike Coughlin February 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks for your note. I will post one today or tomorrow. Don’t know for sure when I can get to the Post Office. Just send payment when you can. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did working on it. If you get a chance, check out other quotes from Saint-Exupery.