RE: [MOL] Wednesdays Chicken Soup For the Soul [03150] Medicine On Line


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RE: [MOL] Wednesdays Chicken Soup For the Soul



Title: RE: [MOL] Wednesdays Chicken Soup For the Soul

Dear Marty:  I, too, loved The Little Prince.  Thank you.  Kathy

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
[mailto:owner-mol-cancer@lists.meds.com]On Behalf Of Elizabeth Patterson
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 1999 9:11 AM
To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
Subject: Re: [MOL] Wednesdays Chicken Soup For the Soul


Marty,
I love The Little Prince and have read it many times. I find It helps me
straighten out my thinking when I begin to take myself and the world too
seriously. I loved the other story you sent.
Liz

>Good Morning My FRiends,
>
>Throat the following message may bring a smile and a warmth to your
>hearts. Have a great day.
>
>
>  The Smile
>
>       Many Americans are familiar with The Little Prince, a wonderful
>book
> by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is a whimsical and fabulous book and
> works as a children's story as well as a thought-provoking adult fable.
> Far fewer are aware of Saint-Exupery's other writings, novels and short
> stories.
>       Saint-Exupery was a fighter pilot who fought against the Nazis
>and
> was killed in action. Before World War II, he fought in the Spanish
>Civil
> War against the fascists. He wrote a fascinating story based on that
> experience entitled The Smile (Le Sourire). It is this story which I'd
> like to share with you now. It isn't clear whether or not he meant this
>to
> be autobiographical or fiction. I choose to believe it to be the
>former.
>       He said that he was captured by the enemy and thrown into a jail
> cell. He was sure that from the contemptuous looks and rough treatment
>he
> received from his jailers he would be executed the next day. From here,
> I'll tell the story as I remember it in my own words.
>       "I was sure that I was to be killed. I became terribly nervous
>and
> distraught. I fumbled in my pockets to see if there were any cigarettes
> which had escaped their search. I found one and because of my shaking
> hands, I could barely get it to my lips. But I had no matches, they had
> taken those.
>       "I looked through the bars at my jailer. He did not make eye
>contact
> with me. After all, one does not make eye contact with a thing, a
>corpse.
> I called out to him 'Have you got a light, por favor?' He looked at me,
> shrugged and came over to light my cigarette.
>       "As he came close and lit the match, his eyes inadvertently
>locked
> with mine. At that moment, I smiled. I don't know why I did that.
>Perhaps
> it was nervousness, perhaps it was because, when you get very close,
>one
> to another, it is very hard not to smile. In any case, I smiled. In
>that
> instant, it was as though a spark jumped across the gap between our two
> hearts, our two human souls. I know he didn't want to, but my smile
>leaped
> through the bars and generated a smile on his lips, too. He lit my
> cigarette but stayed near, looking at me directly in the eyes and
> continuing to smile.
>       "I kept smiling at him, now aware of him as a person and not just
>a
> jailer. And his looking at me seemed to have a new dimension, too. 'Do
>you
> have kids?' he asked.
>       " 'Yes, here, here.' I took out my wallet and nervously fumbled
>for
> the pictures of my family. He, too, took out the pictures of his ninos
>and
> began to talk about his plans and hopes for them. My eyes filled with
> tears. I said that I feared that I'd never see my family again, never
>have
> the chance to see them grow up. Tears came to his eyes, too.
>       "Suddenly, without another word, he unlocked my cell and silently
> led me out. Out of the jail, quietly and by back routes, out of the
>town.
> There, at the edge of town, he released me. And without another word,
>he
> turned back toward the town.
>       "My life was saved by a smile."
>       Yes, the smile - the unaffected, unplanned natural connection
> between people. I tell this story in my work because I'd like people to
> consider that underneath all the layers we construct to protect
>ourselves,
> our dignity, our titles, our degrees, our status and our need to be
>seen
> in certain ways - underneath all that, remains the authentic, essential
> self. I'm not afraid to call it the soul. I really believe that if that
> part of you and that part of me could recognize each other, we wouldn't
>be
> enemies. We couldn't have hate or envy or fear. I sadly conclude that
>all
> those other layers, which we so carefully construct through our lives,
> distance and insulate us from truly contacting others. Saint-Exupery's
> story speaks of that magic moment when two souls recognize each other.
>       I've had just a few moments like that. Falling in love is one
> example. And looking at a baby. Why do we smile when we see a baby?
> Perhaps it's because we see someone without all the defensive layers,
> someone whose smile for us we know to be fully genuine and without
>guile.
> And that baby-soul inside us smiles wistfully in recognition.
>
>God Bless
>marty auslander
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Liz P. Of Yakima


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