Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Fox Knows

View from the Ark of the Catholic Times introduces the readers to a parish priest's reminiscences of his love of books during his early years of schooling. He remembers the joy of reading and would read everything that came his way. Comic books introduced him to the fanciful and the world of imagination.

Books on great men gave him a longing for the impossible (?) and the classics and literature as a whole such as Ivan Turgenev's First Love allowed him to dream. During the 80s when the society was chaotic, he read Korean history. Since there was no object or reason for the reading it was a smorgasbord. He was young and not able to connect what he read with the life he was living.

If there was one thing that he learned later on from his reading was that not everything that hits the eyes is all that there is. Many are the books that left him with an understanding of life and one in particular was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

With money life is comfortable. Science and civilization have modernized our lives, machines have advanced greatly our way of living and made it comfortable. Buildings are tall and strong. Traveling with computers we  live with illusion and the way smart phones are evolving is difficult for us to imagine. Schools of higher learning are being build continually, increasing the educational level of the citizens. The GNP continues to rise but so also has the debt of the citizens.

Development of the country has been great but young people find it difficult to find work. We give a number index to even some of the highest values in life. Profit is a standard for our society. Materialism and wealth are put at the center. Technology has become so omnipresent that without machinery at our disposal we can do little. Money is what makes everything work together.

Something that looks good on the outside is also good to eat is a phrase from the past. What we can't see, the tendency is not to want to see: life, dignity, respect, love,  faith, truth,  justice, friendship, sharing, authenticity, purity, and the like. 

He concludes his article with a meditation on the words of the fox to the prince at the end of the fable. The fox gave the prince a very simple secret to remember: "you are only able to see correctly with the heart, what is essential is invisible to the eyes."  The prince not wanting to forget what he heard repeated to himself: "What is important you do not see with the eyes."