What Can Only Be Seen with the Heart

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readJan 17, 2024

“…what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French writer, aviator, and pioneering aviator. He drew upon his experiences as a pioneering airmail pilot to infuse his works with timeless themes of adventure, love, and the human condition.

Saint-Exupéry’s literary contributions include novels and essays, but his famous novella “The Little Prince” stands out as a widely-read classic that has been translated into numerous languages. Tragically, he disappeared during a reconnaissance mission during World War II, but his writings continue to inspire readers worldwide with their philosophical reflections on life and humanity.

In “The Little Prince,” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry eloquently stated –

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

This quote emphasizes that true understanding goes beyond what can be physically seen or superficially observed. It dives much deeper than a mundane surface-level activity. It suggests that the heart, symbolizing emotions, empathy, and thorough understanding, remains essential for perceiving the true nature of things.

The modern world has, in some aspects, become more hardhearted, marked by increased self-centeredness, digital disconnection, and a focus on materialism. Technology can foster isolation, diminishing face-to-face interactions. Social and economic pressures contribute to a competitive mindset, potentially eroding empathy. These factors collectively contribute to a sense of detachment and callousness in contemporary societal dynamics.

In today’s callous society, where people may remain driven by greed, superficial judgments, or a lack of empathy, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s quote remains relevant.

It encourages individuals to look beyond external appearances and consider the deeper, often invisible, aspects of human experiences. It also advocates for a more compassionate and open-minded approach to understanding others and the world around us.

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com