What is Essential

Mr. Rogers was a fan of  Saint Exupery. He had a quote from The LIttle Prince framed, and it hung over his desk. A reference to essentialism of a different sort.

Beside my chair in my office is a framed piece of calligraphy with a sentence from Saint Exupery’s book, The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince). It reads: “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” (“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”) I feel the closer we get to knowing and living the truth of that sentence, the closer we get to wisdom.

What is essential about you that is invisible to the eye? And who are those who have helped you become who you are today?

Anyone who has ever graduated from a university, anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person – and often many – who believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without many different investments from others.

~Mr. Rogers, excerpt from 2001 commencement speech at Marquette University

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